Red Beard

Red Beard ★★★

Definitely the slowest Kurosawa film I've seen (probably the 7th or 8th), and at 3 hours, I painfully struggled to get through this. I was completely enthralled by Ikiru, another drama of his, but this film's very deliberate pace did absolutely nothing for me, and any interesting characters or conflicts had lost interest for me by halfway through the film. It's about a young and stubborn doctor who doesn't pity the mentally ill, the lost, and the forgotten, and about his master, Red Beard, who teaches him (in very unorthodox ways) to care. It's definitely a journey, and a strong master-apprentice story, peppered with interesting moments and realistic sets and dialogue, but that didn't make it interesting for me. There were some dark moments and some surprising character-turnarounds, as well as some heartbreak near the end, but I couldn't help find some things laughable, including Red Beard's violent outbreak in the middle of the film. Maybe I'll need to return to it some day when I'm feeling real slow and patient.