3.5 - No better than Seven Samurai, Rashomon and other films Kurosawa has ever done in his lifetime, but still one of the great films of its time. Great acting, directing, costume and production design, a brilliant score, and great use of color and movement. However, sometimes the pacing kills the mood of the movie, and Throne of Blood is still his best Shakespeare adaptation.
Being familiar with King Lear, I found the opening to be slightly sluggish, as there were no great deviations from the play, which takes its time to "set up" the rest of the story. This lent the impression that it might be a simple retelling. However, after the slow opening it really came into its own, and the final act is terrific. Visually stunning throughout and very well acted.
Kurosawa demonstrates Shakespeare's universality in this adaptation. Lear's structure and thematic concerns are maintained but the result is wholly unique and pure cinema. His use of colour and composition keeps the story coherent, subtitles aren't really necessary. Ran doesn't abandon its theatrical roots either. The expansive production design is tactile and blocking is an important tool in the conflict. Masterful.
A masterpiece. It’s a great story anyway and Kurosawa & co don’t miss a beat. The gender reversals work well, but it’s the slow burn revenge plots that show just how inhumanity gets passed on in a seemingly unending cycle. We have progressed since then, but at times, only just. It’s a superb film, worth every good word written and spoken about it.
Every aspect of the presentation in 'Ran' is top notch, from the use of distinct colours for each faction to the electrifying shot compositions. The initial pacing is slow, but it pays off before long, thus revealing an epic of family, legacy, corruption of power and the futility of war. Another great Shakespeare adaptation from Kurosawa for sure.
The use of the natural landscape and orchestral music was atmospheric, and of course, the costumes were outrageous. I'm not sure the dialogue (in particular, that of the fool) captured the full genius of Shakespeare's original, but the Japanese setting was beautiful and fascinating. It certainly paints a bleak picture of human nature.
★★★★½ An amazing film that is definitely one of the most epic and expansive films I've ever seen. It feels like you're there at times, and some of Kurosawa's shots are just so beautiful you could hand them on the wall. I see why everyone loves him now, I guess I should fast-track my watching of Seven Samurai now.
An adaption of the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear, Akira Kurosawa's Ran is a cinematic masterpiece.. By mixing earthy, muted backdrops with the colourful costumes worn by the cast, Ran sets itself apart from Kurosawa's other notable samurai movies e.g. Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood etc. through its stunning colour palette. And with some fantastic dramatic performances by its cast, Ran is truly a must-see movie!!!
We're all alone in the end. Even the Gods have abandoned us, not least our children. It's startlingly beautiful to look at, choreographed with grace, and full of subtle beauty shrouded by intense scenes of bloodshed and political intrigue. A masterpiece. Lady Kaete is an evil genius.
A tinny, wearying exercise in facile despair, with none of Shakespeare's piercing cosmic vision. The characters are all cardboard, their actions ridiculous. Yes, the stylized battle scenes, with their choreographed colours, are impressive, but they don't amount to anything beyond empty, posturing pageantry. The philosophising is almost insultingly shallow.