The bad sleep well

The bad sleep well

DVD - 2006 | Japanese
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A young executive hunts down his father's killer. A tale about corruption in the boardrooms of postwar corporate Japan as seen through the rising executive eyes.
Publisher: New York : Criterion Collection, [2006]
ISBN: 9780780030084
0780030087
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 150 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet ([14] p. ; 18 cm.)
Alternative Title: Warui yatsu hodo yoku nemuru

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j
jimg2000
Mar 19, 2018

Watched this years ago and appreciated the intricate plot and its message much more this time around now that I am older. Goes to prove that spoilers do not spoil good films for viewers. Besides numerous seminal samurai films like Yojimbo and Ran etc, this and "Ikiru 1952" were Kurosawa's examples on Japan's contemporary settings and social problems during his time.

p
PeterRLD
Aug 01, 2016

I enjoy classic Japanese films, especially featuring samurai whacking away at each other with fine Japannese swords. The Bad Sleep Well, however, is set in modern postwar Japan and involves corporate intrigue, which I wasn't sure was going to be my cup of tea. The story involves a circle of powerful men at the head of a corporation which seems to be an arm of the Japanese government. They are busy enriching themselves at the expense of the public by rigging bids and taking kickbacks. Their employees are either content to be be part of a crooked business or unthinkingly loyal to their superiors. Enter the always excellent Toshiro Mifune, who is determined to take down the whole bunch. In the US, this movie would show how one plucky guy with right on his side can take on and defeat the legions of evil while at the same time finding true love with a beautiful woman. Kurosawa's version however is so much more nuanced. Perhaps, as others are suggesting, Kurosawa is creating agitprop to drive the masses to rise up and overthow a corrupt system, but I prefer to focus on his thoughtful examinaton of the complexity of Mifune's motives for violent action and showing how his quest for revenge eats away at his moral compass. In any case, a superb movie that I can't get out of my mind.

n
Nursebob
Dec 05, 2014

Akira Kurosawa’s angry film noir not only examines corporate corruption in high places but is also highly critical of the mindless loyalty engendered in Japanese workers; some of whom would willingly kill themselves rather than face the humiliation of testifying against their crooked bosses. Brilliantly scripted and accompanied by a hip jazz score, Kurosawa’s critical eye follows his characters from opulent hotel suites and boardrooms to the desolation of a bombed factory; a crumbling remnant of Japan’s military defeat just fifteen years earlier. As the story progresses however you come to realize that the lines between “good” and “bad” are not so easily drawn, for one man's memories of his father aren’t quite as golden as he would like and his marriage of convenience to the trusting Yoshiko carries within it the same aura of unscrupulousness he’s vowed to expose. Furthermore, in his single-minded zeal to wreak vengeance (and ease some personal guilt) Nishi is only too willing to step outside the law himself. A complex and cynical film whose bleak ending once served as a wake-up call but now, sadly, seems more of a prophecy.

g
geomillar
Apr 29, 2012

This classic film by Japanese master Kurosawa has been remastered. Stay with it and it will keep you riveted until the final frame.

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j
jimg2000
Mar 19, 2018

This is the only message scum like them understand. Even now they sleep soundly, grins on their faces.
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Unmasking a superior - it's impossible.
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You don't understand bureaucrats. A good official never implicates a superior, no matter what the cost.
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He's been a good father to you. Loved you enough for two after Mom died.
-Is he a bad father to you?
No, he's a good father to me too, which is why this drives me so crazy.
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Even though he had my mother and me, he married someone his boss suggested in order to get ahead. That's the kind of man he was.
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I'll go tell my xxyyzz that he must make amends for all these sins.
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I don't think he's capable of that.
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I didn't sleep at all last night and seem to have mistaken night for day. Now, if you'll excuse me...

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