Watched Mar 19, 2012
Robert Reineke’s review:
The Idiot was intended by Kurosawa to be over 4 hours long. Instead it was chopped down to about 2 3/4th hours with narration and text clumsily replacing whole swaths of story. The story is also moved from 19th century Russia to post-war Japan, but it still feels like 19th century Russia without much for adjustment. It's like a modern dress Shakespeare adaptation without consideration of whether the modern dress is adding anything to the story. Kurosawa is perhaps too faithful to the source.
Despite all of that, it almost comes together and is certainly an interesting, ambitious film from source material that Kurosawa clearly loves. And there are many profoundly beautiful shots and compositions to be found. It's not a masterpiece, but it's a flawed film where you can see the genius of Kurosawa all over the place.