A reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear as a historical epic set in sixteenth century Japan. When a Lord abdicates to his three sons, two turn against him. An examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of a family under the weight of betrayal, greed and power.
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10 - While a lesser director would have slaved over the text in an attempt to perfectly capture the essence of Shakespeare's written word, Kurosawa knew that one of the Bard of Avon's major strengths was the relatability and plasticity of his oeuvre to any period or man. Mixing in Japanese legend and a generous helping of his own afflictions, he crafted a "King Lear" worthy of the name, standing on its own two feet.
A film divided in 2 halves, heaven and hell, each ending with some of the most hellish moments captured by film. If the waterfall scene in Seven Samurai was dreamlike, then the siege sequence in Ran is a nightmare given flesh. The shift that Hidetora goes through is the very same that Kurosawa seems to have gone through as the humanism of the 50s has morphed into this film's nihilism.
Beau, tragique, lumineux. Pardonnez le cliché, chaque plan est beau comme une estampe japonaise : le décor, la disposition générale des éléments, les mouvements, tout cela semble réglé au millimètre, tant ça transpire de beauté, tout en restant d'une incroyable sobriété. Les expressions et les intonations des acteurs font oublier qu'il s'agit d'un film. Les scènes de combat sont les plus belles que j'aie jamais vues.
Every Single Frame is Beautiful. The colour composition alone is magnificent. The stunning yet simple neutral colour backdrops are the canvas to each shot ... costumes, props, horses - the colour palette is incredible. And even so, it does not distract from the narrative ... it enhances. A masterpiece.
A cinematic feast. Possibly one of the most visually arresting movies I've ever seen, the bold colours clashing against a story of loss, deceit and war. Epic is an overused term, but I'm not sure it's strong enough in this instance.
A devastating film. At this point I don't think I have ever seen a battle scene that has moved me as much as the one at the castle. Human life is treated as next to worthless in this scene, but in dignified manner. These soldiers are not meat bags meant to be exploited for the audience, we feel every gunshot, every stab wound etc. Lives are thrown away due to an insatiable human desire. Greed.