High and Low

High and Low ★★★★★

This is up there with Seven Samurai as one of the greatest films ever made. It pulls you in for 2.5 hours and doesn't let go.

What really stuck out to me is the use of wide-screen shots to capture multiple characters and a lot of the scene: it pulls you into the middle of the action like a live stage play. You get to watch not only the characters talking, but the other characters in the scene that aren't part of the conversation but are overhearing it and reacting to it, heightening the drama and some of the subtle comedy. Like when Aoki is begging Gondo and the police bow their heads. Or at Police headquarters when everyone is crowded around the tape, MN the shot makes you feel like you're on your knees turning your ear to listen close. Or when Gondo is telling Kawanishi to take a hike and the detectives sort of comically light up the cigarettes offered to them earlier.

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