Monday, April 4, 2016

Drunken Angel - Movie Review

It's a 1948 Akira Kurosawa movie. An alcoholic doctor who cares for his patients to such an extent that he gets deeply involved in their condition and their treatment, speaks too bluntly, and has no idea how to make a comfortable living, meets a young hood belonging to the yakuza or crime syndicates of Japan. The young man has TB and the doctor offers to treat him. But the young man is way too much caught in with his pride as a gangster to listen to the good doctor. The hood is replaced by another hood, who finally kills him and steals his girl friend too.

The movie explores the themes of the doctors deep involvement with his profession vis a vis the more commercial contemporaries of his. How deep love can often come coated in harsh words and acts. How bad company should first be treated and then only the patient can be treated. And in the end - as his other patient says - TB can be cured by a rational approach. To which the doctor, who has seen the young yakuza die needlessly because of his company, replies - rational approach is the best medicine for life.

The metaphor of the filthy pond which breeds mosquitoes, how everyday more and more trash accumulates in it and makes it worse - in comparison for the gangsters life is powerful. Keeps you going and wondering what will happen next. 

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