"It's our human duty to enjoy life."

My first Kurosawa has left me astounded. Ikiru - meaning 'To Live' - successfully crushes that ever-so-reputable challenge in making the audience think about life yet still remain as an artistic escape for them. It made me think about my future and my past, it made me think about family and friends, it made me think about you - it didn't once make me think about the year this was made; Ikiru never feels like a black and white film from 1952, and that's because it is from the work of a master.

Takashi Shimura's quietly powerful lead performance is spectacular; the windows to his soul are certainly not clean yet still bring out a reflection of myself when I look into them. Shimura and his terribly upset eyes really make the most of this fantastic script and generously bring this character along for all of us to see. When he gets drunk, we forget about the cancer too - until the film barbarously reminds us again just as a bulky thunderstorm begins outside. Kurosawa expertly balances out his interaction with the audience and his expression for the audience to witness, as shown in a phenomenal final shot that will leave you immured in thought.

*hops off swing*

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