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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Living (2022) Hollywood Movie Full and Honest Review

Living (2022) Hollywood Movie Full and Honest Review

Quick Glance

Director: Oliver Hermanus

Writers: Kazuo Ishiguro Akira Kurosawa(original screenplay)

Stars: Bill Nighy Aimee Lou Wood Alex Sharp

IMBD Rating: 7.7/10

Gener: Drama


Storyline and Review

LIVING is a British historical drama about a bureaucrat, portrayed by the legendary Bill Nighy, who discovers that he only has a few months to live. It's the story of a man who, after years of being caught in his mundane, lifeless routine, suddenly realizes that he has a finite amount of time. 

It's a homage to living life to the fullest and making the most of your opportunities. If that seems familiar, it's because Oliver Hermanus' picture is a remake of Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece IKIRU, which was released in 1952. 

LIVING is essentially the same original storyline adapted to a different locale. Even the time of the event is the same. It's the 1950s, but this time it's London, England, rather than Tokyo, Japan. 

However, the plot, characters, and even many situations are nearly identical, but in a different cultural milieu. And, surprisingly... or perhaps not so surprisingly, it also works nicely in this post-World War II British milieu. One of the film's excellent qualities is its representation of this time period. 


Final Thoughts and Score

While the Japanese version from 1952 had a modern setting, this new film seeks to recreate this long-ago age and succeeds admirably. It's shot in a traditional four-by-three aspect ratio, with stunning production design and cinematography. It's as if the film is taking you on a journey across time travel.

The film's clothes, locales, and tone are all fantastic. I was particularly taken by the way the film uses focus, often extremely thin focus, to guide us through the situations. 

Surprisingly, I'm not sure whether the film's great style and absolute regard and fidelity to the original didn't prevent me from becoming even more engrossed and touched by it. It was almost as though I was witnessing too much of the adaptation job and not enough of the touching narrative. 

I also have to admit that I found it difficult to appreciate it for what it is since I felt as if the original was continuously influencing the remake for me.

That is to say, I didn't only observe this version's character; I felt as though the original character's struggles were carried over into this one. To be honest, it felt a little too sluggish because I already knew every plot beat. 

Nonetheless, it's a fantastic film with a fantastic performance by Bill Nighy. My favorite scene occurs early in the film when he is sitting alone at home reflecting on his life. The tiny episodes from his history are vividly portrayed, initially in black and white and later in color as they come to life for our protagonist. 

That entire scene had a profound effect on me. LIVING gets a 7.3 out of 10 ratings. It's closer to 7.6, but I don't do it.

Living (2022) Movie Review Video


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