NEW ON DVDSing Street EqualsElvis & Nixon Where To Invade NextSea Of Trees, TheStanley Kubrick Limited Edition CollectionFathers & DaughtersExpresso BongoPutuparri And The RainmakersLabyrinth Of LiesGreen RoomWide Open SkyOne Wild MomentBelier Family, TheLooking For GraceEye In The Sky45 YearsRoomGrimsbyQueen Of EarthOctober SkyConcussion (2015)TrumboGods Of EgyptDirty Grandpa Hateful Eight, TheJames WhiteRegression
The Bad Sleep Wellaka - Warui Yatsu Hodo Yoku Memuru
Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Running time 151 minutes
Compared to modern anti-corporate thrillers, The Bad Sleep Well, the story of how upstart Koichi Nishi (Toshiro Mifune) marries the lame daughter (Kyoko Kagawa) of a wealthy businessman (Masayuki Mori) and tries to bring the latter to justice, is a rather turgid affair that particularly in its closing stages throws out any attempt at a credible plot line and instead opts for histrionic hand-wringing that is more suited to the director's well-known appetite for Shakespearean theatre.
Kurosawa's target in his first independent production is corruption in post-war Japan and the culture of acquiescence that makes the dastardly deeds of anonymous corporations possible. Adapted from a novel by Ed McBain by the director and a team of writers The Bad Sleep Well is, as its title suggest, a deeply pessimistic film. It is also an uneven one that does not achieve the success of the director's comparable High And Low two years later, lumbering under drawn-out exposition, especially in the opening section, and an evidently low budget that gives the film a relatively shabby production design ill-suited to connote corporate wealth.
Notwithstanding, for Kurosawa completists it is a valuable film in which, as ever, the master's hand is well-evident.
DVD Extras: As with Madman's extensive release of the Kurosawa catalogue there is a commentary by a film academic, this time Professor Ross Gibson of the University of Technology, Sydney and we also get an image gallery and the original theatrical trailer.
Available from: Madman