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Madadayo (1993)

 |  Drama  |  20 March 1998 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 3,154 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 39 user | 25 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tatsuo Matsumura ...
Professor Hyakken Uchida
Kyôko Kagawa ...
Professor's Wife
Hisashi Igawa ...
Takayama
Jôji Tokoro ...
Amaki
Masayuki Yui ...
Kiriyama
Akira Terao ...
Sawamura
Takeshi Kusaka ...
Dr. Kobayashi
Asei Kobayashi ...
Rev. Kameyama
Hidetaka Yoshioka ...
Takayama's son
Yoshitaka Zushi ...
Neighbor
Mitsuru Hirata ...
Tada
Nobuto Okamoto ...
Ôta
Tetsu Watanabe
Norio Matsui
Murohide Sugizaki
Edit

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Not Yet  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,729 (USA) (22 September 2000)

Gross:

$48,856 (USA) (6 October 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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

 
Flawed film from a great master
4 October 2010 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Madadayo (1993) was the last film written and directed by the great Akira Kurosawa. Sadly, although the movie bears touches of Kurosawa's genius, it is not a truly memorable film.

The plot follows the life of a kindly professor, who retires from teaching but who is revered, respected, and almost worshiped by his former students. The problem for me was that we see the professor's many child-like foibles--which the students don't appear to mind--but we never see any evidence of the professor's greatness.

The professor taught German, not philosophy or religion, so the subject matter of his lectures couldn't have been inherently inspiring. We are never told what he said within or outside of class that brings about the fervent admiration of his students.

After the professor retires, he suffers a series of unpleasant incidents--some serious and some trivial. In each case he students come together to help restore his life to balance. In addition, they have a highly formalized party on his birthday each year. Eventually they include their wives, children, and grandchildren in these laudatory ceremonies.

The film is not boring, and it excels in the crowd scenes as well as in the scenes of wartime destruction, but it never provides a central core of substance that would have made the details and incidents meaningful.

We saw this film at the excellent Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House in Rochester. However, most of the action takes place indoors, and I'm sure the movie would work well on the small screen.


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