rodrigo’s review published on Letterboxd:
an electrifying noir between antagonism and morality. kurosawa's "HIGH AND LOW" is nonetheless an important critique to get cynical looks at extreme poverty. a spotlight on godon's living room scenes — a wealthy executive who is in an dead-end quadrant between financial sacrifices vs. a child's life. on the Low, however, we have a wrestling among addictions and indigence.
even in every setting, kurosawa handles it in a theatrical and majestic way. whether in godon's living room, on the train or in the underworld of Japan. the entire narrative remains solid, i couldn't help but follow every detail. the entire art direction is impeccable, this film being respected worldwide as one of the most important police dramas in cinema is no coincidence.
nevertheless, i found myself uncomfortable, i don't believe in the meritocratic look that echoes at the end, nor in the death penalty speech when there is a strong closing of 20 minutes showing a harsh reality. maybe that was the point (or my pov.)
TENGOKU TO JIGOKU it's a powerful film, there's a lot to say about weakness and sacrifices. everything is so precise and a true filmmaking.