High and Low

High and Low ★★★★★

I was quite excited to see this film, given the love for it from trusted friends, but when I realized that it was a crime film, and very much a police procedural, my heart sank a little. I love those types of films, but there are so many of them and I am so used to them that I couldn't imagine being blown away by one, even if it was from Kurosawa.

Remind me never to underestimate the Master again.


He tells the very simple story of a kidnapping.

If that's all you want, you are going to get one of the best police procedurals including one of the best scenes ever filmed where detectives provide their updates on the case to their chief.

If you want more, you can look at the morality tale of the man who sacrifices everything because it is the right thing to do and who gains much more than he loses.

If you want more you can look at the criticism of profit as the bottom line in business ethics, such that those who are willing to sacrifice quality product to make more money risk losing it all.

If you want more, then you can look at the 3 acts as the "High", the middle and the "low" and see a commentary on the social classes.

You can see how urban design reflects the social classes, with large solitary white houses on hills overlooking dark and dank cardboard dwellings amongst short sinuous unlit alleyways.

You can see how interior design reflects the social classes, from the large sunlight rooms of the rich, filled with more space than furniture and modern uniform vertical lines tying it all together, to the crowded police station where too many detectives sit on uncomfortable chairs in an airless room that is too small and too hot, to the squalor of the kidnapper's room in the depths of the ghetto.

This is why High and Low is a five star film. It provides whatever you want to see and does it perfectly.

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