High and Low, directed by Akira Kurasawa, is a classic mystery movie that has deep dark emotions displayed in neat detail.
The movie starts with business tycoon, Mr Gondo, mortgaging every asset he has to gain major control over a shoes company. Later when he gets to know his driver’s son mistakenly being kidnapped for his son, he is in a fix for it takes his fortune to get his driver’s son out. He has only two choices, one to pay the ransom and remain bankrupt; two, to go ahead with his business plans of buying a control with his hard earned money.
The scenes that depict Gondo’s internal struggle for taking a decision are so empathetic. He just can’t go away with all the money and as well can’t let the child be with the kidnappers. Finally he decides to pay the kidnappers and also solve the mystery behind the kidnap.
The way police work in solving the mystery is well directed. Entire force is split into teams and assigned a small work and they provide the clues found on every meeting.
While the mystery uncovers we can see Mr. Gondo’s reaction-less face for he has been left with nothing and also the driver’s emotions expressing gratitude towards his boss in one way and also feeling bad that he was responsible for the money loss.
Some of the scenes in the movie that shows drug addicts and their community are so frightening.
The climax, as to who did it and why, is given by the culprit in a brief description, which is where, I felt, it can be elaborative, as it is the climax that talks about the high and low (in exact terms, the rich and the poor) impact.
But in spite of that I loved every bit of the movie. Movie seems to be slow at times (the way it was in the olden days) but never lets you go off hold. One has to watch this movie that was made in 1963. Japan was so advanced (bullet trains, well maintained roads) unlike India.