Denial, denial, denial, denial, denial, bargaining, reflection -- the seven stages of grief of an egotistical man. Kurosawa says, "ego is the ultimate obstacle towards recovery" and mifune with his violent bursts of anger brought that statement to life. The remarkable chemistry between the trio is especially evident in this film (lets not leave out takashi shimura here, the grumpy drunk doctor tossing out 'hmph's at every opportunity). This is a beautiful film, but don't expect it to have a happy ending, it's made by one of the biggest fan of shakespearean tragedy, after all.
"I hope these are fresh, they are for a patient", kurosawa-san, you're too cruel.