7.3/10
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40 user 26 critic

Mâdadayo (1993)

Following World War II, a retired professor approaching his autumn years finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war-torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.

Director:

Akira Kurosawa

Writers:

Akira Kurosawa, Hyakken Uchida (essays)
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuo Matsumura ... Professor Hyakken Uchida
Hisashi Igawa ... Takayama
George Tokoro George Tokoro ... Amaki (as Jôji Tokoro)
Masayuki Yui ... Kiriyama
Akira Terao Akira Terao ... Sawamura
Takeshi Kusaka Takeshi Kusaka ... Dr. Kobayashi
Asei Kobayashi Asei Kobayashi ... Rev. Kameyama
Kyôko Kagawa ... Professor's Wife
Mitsuru Hirata Mitsuru Hirata ... Tada
Takao Zushi Takao Zushi ... Kitamura
Nobuto Okamoto Nobuto Okamoto ... Ôta
Tetsu Watanabe
Kimihiro Reizei Kimihiro Reizei ... Murayama
Norio Matsui Norio Matsui
Akihiko Sugizaki Akihiko Sugizaki
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Storyline

This film tells the story of professor Uehida Hyakken-sama (1889-1971), in Gotemba, around the forties. He was a university professor until an air raid, when he left to become a writer and has to live in a hut. His mood has hardly changed, not by the change nor by time. Every year his students celebrate his birthday, issuing the question "Mahda kai?" (not yet?), just to hear Uehida-san's answer "Madada yo!" (No, not yet!), in a ritual of self affirmation, and desires of lasting forever. It's a very "japanese" film who portrays everyday life and customs in Japan. Written by Jaime Moraga <jim@moai.usach.cl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The final film by Japan's master filmmaker.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

20 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Not Yet See more »

Filming Locations:

Japan See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The surreal cloudy background that appears in the final dream sequence (as well as the video cover) was painted by director Akira Kurosawa himself. See more »

Goofs

The story depicts Professor Hyakken's 60th birthday toward the end of World War II (1943-1945). But he was born in 1889; thus, he turned 60 years old in 1949. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vanilla Sky (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

L'ESTRO ARMONICO Op. II, Concert No 1 in D Major, RV 230
Music by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Solisti Veneti (as I Solisti Veneti)
Conducted by Claudio Scimone
Courtesy of ERARO DISQUES S.A.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
viewers awarded... in the end
20 August 2003 | by smakawhatSee all my reviews

Madadayo chronicles the life of a retired professor who lives vicariously through all the students he has taught. The students admire him greatly, he is visited often and many stay to listen to his whimsy and foolish stories. The professor is a child at heart, and not much really happens. The film doesn't have a plot really, and only 2 things start to focus around the story one being the loss of the professors house after the allied bombing, and the loss of a stray cat he adopts years later.

To the viewer though there is much in between stories and people to digest such as a great celebratory dinner that is held every year, and so on. To some degree I will admit I liked the camradare that I witnessed, the great dialogue, the professors childish personality, but I wanted the film to move forward and to at least give me something to focus on.

The lost cat scene was a good distraction but it did go a little more longer than neccesary. I find this often sometimes in Kurosawa's work (The lost gun in Stray Dogs, following the suspect in High and Low reminded me of this). However, the hallmarks of his great filmmaking are apparent in the dinner scenes, cinematography, and conversations. He also provides scenes that the viewer could take as obligatory (such as a death, or the possible return of the cat), but Kurosawa changes this so the outcome is not what you expect but refreshing.

However, the best is saved for last... litteraly. As I was waiting for the film to end, the hallmark of greatness arrives without question in the span of what must have been only 5 minutes. The ending just wraps up everything so perfectly, and it made me from just liking the film to instantly loving it. It gives a real insight into the professors mind who is greatly admired and respected.

Rating 8 out of 10


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