Rent Living (2022)

3.6 of 5 from 508 ratings
1h 39min
Rent Living (aka Ikiru) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
London, 1953. Mr. Williams, played by Bill Nighy, is a veteran civil servant, a cog in the city's stifling bureaucracy as it struggles to rebuild following WWII. After a shattering health diagnosis, it dawns on him he has not been living his life to the full. Amidst the fog of his paperwork, and his loneliness at home, he yearns to find fulfilment before it's too late. He is encouraged in his search by two younger colleagues - the vibrant Margaret (Aimee Lou Wood) and idealistic new recruit Peter (Alex Sharp) - and a hedonistic stranger, Sutherland (Tom Burke), encountered during a desperate trip to the seaside.
Actors:
, , , , , , , Anant Varman, , , Jessica Flood, , , , , , , , Barney Fishwick,
Directors:
Producers:
Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley
Writers:
Kazuo Ishiguro, Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni
Aka:
Ikiru
Studio:
Lionsgate Films
Genres:
Drama
Collections:
Award Winners, BAFTA Nominations Competition 2023, Ireland At the Oscars, Oscar Nominations Competition 2023, Top 10 World Cinema Remakes, Top Films
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/03/2023
Run Time:
99 minutes
Languages:
English Audio Description, English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.48:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Cast and Crew Interviews
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/03/2023
Run Time:
102 minutes
Languages:
English Audio Description, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.48:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Cast and Crew Interviews

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Reviews (12) of Living

Enoyable, sometimes moving, early 1950s set London drama based on a 1952 Japanese film - Living review by PV

Spoiler Alert
27/03/2023

I enjoyed this film despite its flaws - the sheer stereotyped repressed Englishness, for a start; then the attempts to diversify the story, regarding ethnicity; and of course the usual required focus on female stories. As such it reminded me a lot of DARKEST HOUR, in its cinematography, music and tone.

BUT I mostly liked it. I now want to try and watch the 1952 Japanese film on which it is based.

Kazua Ishiguro the British Japanese author (and former social worker) wrote REMAINS OF THE DAY, and so clearly likes that sort of stifled English male repression BUT it is a stereotype nonetheless, and a racial one which would not be accepted for other races or nationalities.

I am not sure I believe County Hall was like that in 1953 either - it is, rather, a version of quaint old-fashioned Englishness that the world WANTS to see.. And was there REALLY a Mr Singh working there then?

As for the seaside scenes - deliberately added to daub a splash of ethno-colour contrast on the austere post-war monochrome England of 1953. Do I believe such a man would have reacted that way? Not sure. As I said, I have to watch the 1952 Japanese film on which it is based to see what has been added here.

There are some obtuse scenes, which are confusing, with a man in a moustache and flashbacks. BUT then when one realises the director usually makes movies with a gay theme (like the excellent MOFFIE), it all makes sense. Maybe.

Too long, of course, and drags at the end a tad, but watchable so 4 stars.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Half way there - Living review by HM

Spoiler Alert
04/05/2023

First half or more of the film deals with a civil servant in 1950s Britain living a dull existance. A 6 months to live death sentence given to him by his doctor, has him self analyse his hitherto existence dwelt in a rut of his own making. Off he goes to live it up a bit and sample what he has been missing. All well and good, entertaining and engaging, however, the last part of the film is over sentimental as we learn more about him and his past deeds. The film drags on a bit at this point frankly so that the finale is a dissapointment. A shame as performances up to now were very good.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Moving film if lacking the intensity of the original - Living review by PD

Spoiler Alert
09/12/2022

“What would you do if you had six months left to live?” asks the doctor who diagnoses the faceless bureaucrat with terminal cancer in Akira Kurosawa's 'Ikiru', raising profound questions about how we choose to spend the limited time we’re afforded. And Ikiru's lessons translate well to mid-century Britain, courtesy of Kazuo Ishiguro, who does the heavy lifting of adapting it to 1953 London for director Oliver Hermanus. Bill Nighy gives us an impressive, understated performance, as a result of which film is undeniably moving, if not to the same degree that Kurosawa achieved. This is partly because of a truly awful, intrusive cloying sentimental score throughout (the scenes in which the strings are put away and the Pinteresque silences speak louder than words are much more effective), and partly because of a rather weak supporting cast and subplot which mean that the full intensity of Mr Williams' situation is dissipated somewhat at times. You do get the feeling that the film is rather afraid to step out of the shadow of its predecessor, although it's also fair to say that if it has the result of getting to you watch Kurosawa's film again (or Tolstoy's novella on which Kurosawa's film was itself based), then that is an achievement in itself.

Hermanus and his production team are generally successful at re-creating postwar London, opening the film up and trying to match its locations to the grainy old footage of the city glimpsed in the retro-style opening credits. The costumes, the customs, the ever-so-proper way of speaking (or not speaking, as is often the case) are spot on (although no smoking - a key period detail inevitably omitted). And with their neatly tailored suits and matching bowler hats, the film neatly depicts how the paper pushers in Public Works have realised that any initiative merely endangers their jobs and so spend their days referring cases to other departments - some things never change! Most importantly, the film's central message of it being a shame to have died without ever having lived is universally applicable to any age, and this comes over loud and clear.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Living (aka Ikiru) review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Living is one of those remakes that is so faithful to its source material it almost feels like a pointless exercise beyond its localization. It feels especially odd to remake Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru, considering how legendary it’s become. But if for some reason you’ve never seen this Japanese classic of finding meaning in life - be it an aversion to black-and-white films or unwilling to read subtitles - this is a decent English interpretation of a familiar story.

While the general story shifts from Japan to England, most of the central premise remains the same, including the period of the 1950s. Bill Nighy plays Mr. Williams, an old but revered man among his bureaucrat colleagues in the Public Works department. Over his lengthy career, he’s become used to sending complaints and requests in a cycle of departments to avoid any work beyond the bare essentials. With his quiet tact, he’s seen as a legend, spoken of more in whispers than directly.

Williams is given unfortunate news when he learns he has a terminal illness and isn’t long for this world. He thinks about telling his children, but they seem far too distant and concerned with their well-being. Reserving to hide his diagnosis, he ditches work, grabs some money, and tries to figure out what it’s like to truly live beyond that office work. He’s not very good at it, but he still makes an effort. He hooks up with a local writer who indulges his desires to hit up the pubs, frequent the arcades, and try to sing along when a piano is playing. While trying to appreciate life, he also forms a bond with the former bureaucrat employee Margaret Harris (Aimee Lou Wood), inviting her to outings to movies, carnival games, and a drink or two. Of course, he realizes how this may appear, and only when he feels he’s taken this relationship too far does he confess his diagnosis and relents in returning to his office for a greater cause.

The film follows many of the familiar beats and scenes as Ikiru. There are two key scenes worth nothing. One is the scene in the bar where Williams requests to sing an old song with an emotional tone, only growing sadder as he continues. Ikiru features a similar scene, but it goes on longer as the rest of the bar watches this old man cry at a life squandered. Nighy’s performance features the old man trailing off in thought, holding back those tears, apologizing for showing any sign of emotion amid such a melody. We also get his last act of redemption of fulfilling the wish of a playground, his final days featuring him enjoying the swing within the lot he helped make a charming place for children. It’s a decent scene, although it can’t hold a candle to what Ikiru conjures with its emotional climax.

I find myself forced to look at the film from a different perspective, trying to see what those unfamiliar with Ikiru will interpret. As odd as that may sound, this made me appreciate Living all the more. The quiet and comforting nature of coming to terms with your mortality makes for a content picture centering on the little joys of life. Even amid a tough movie season of movies with a similar theme (Babylon, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Pinocchio), this film still works rather well for what it sets out to replicate.

Living is a solid remake of the Kurosawa classic. It doesn’t outdo the original and plays more like a decent cover song, but it’s a cover of an already strong song. For what little Living adds to this old narrative, it stands strong enough that one can only hope more people will seek out the original.

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