The Bad Sleep Well (Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru) [1960]

07 May

151m; Japan

Director: Akira Kurosawa

Cast: Toshirô Mifune, Masayuki Mori and Kyôko Kagawa

Synopsis: A 1960 film directed by the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. It was the first film to be produced under Kurosawa’s own independent production company. The film stars Toshirō Mifune as a young man who gets a prominent position in a corrupt postwar Japanese company in order to expose the men responsible for his father’s death. It is Kurosawa’s unofficial Hamlet, reportedly the director’s favourite Shakespeare play. It also doubles as a critique of corporate corruption. Koichi Nishi (Toshirō Mifune) wants revenge for his father’s death. Nishi is a complex man, playing the troubled Hamletesque character, who lets his father’s past destroy his own future. Nishi is the easiest character to draw parallels with Shakespeare’s play. Nishi seeks to avenge the unnatural death of his father. Maysayuki Mori’s performance as the evil Iwabuchi resembles Claudius. The only other clearly corresponding character between Kurosawa’s The Bad Sleep Well and Hamlet is Horatio with Nishi’s accomplice. Nevertheless, the underlying themes of circumstance, revenge, and justice, connect the film and play. Source:


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