Madadayo is Akira Kurosawa's final film. That alone makes it a masterpiece however; it is the film's storyline that is the real gem. A teacher retires in Japan of 1943 and spends the rest of his life living off of the monies earned by the books he has written. His students both past and present love him so much that they are his most dear friends. After tragedy strikes, his students again come to the aid of their beloved professor and see to the needs of the Professor and his wife. Every year starting with his 60th birthday, his students gather at the local beer hall and toast the professor in grand style. It always concludes with the students proclaiming, Mahda-Kai or Are you Ready? And the Professor's response of Madadayo or Not yet! Chronicling his life post professorial, Kurosawa paints a loving text on the endearing power, teachers unsuspectingly wield over gracious students. This is in its entirety a love story that is wonderfully woven with all manner of warmth and beauty. Fittingly, Madadayo provides a look of love at the life of one devoted to bringing out the best in his students. Like Kurosawa, the imagery is timeless and will forever be a classic entry in an unequalled career.
The audio is presented in Japanese DD2.0. Wholly dialogue driven, the feature's audio more than adequately presented the film's wonderful aural textures. The center was crystalline and the fronts delivered a very full experience. The video was equally well presented in a spotless widescreen platform. The colors seemed to stay dull throughout the whole of the film. It looked more like a directorial element as it fit in perfectly with the events on screen. However, without a commentary track, your guess is as good as mine. Visually, the film looked good and gave a great presentation on both fronts.
The extras are the trailer for the film and Kurosawas' full color storyboards. His storyboards looked more like impressionist works of art rather than the efforts of a director to get his point across to the crew.
I'm not going to waste words on how wonderful this film is. Kurosawa was a genius and gave the world films that are still revered today. His final film, is a touching look at the life of an ordinary man living in extraordinary circumstances. It's a wonderfully involving film that is a credit to the Kurosawa legacy.