A nameless ronin wonders into a rural village in feudal Japan. To restore peace in the community, he concocts a plan to play the two head rivals, fighting for monopoly of the local gambling trade, against one another.
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Toshiro Mifune's vigilante-cum-shitstirrer wanders into town to clean it up and inspire a new generation of film makers along the way. Great characters, superb camerawork and a ripping yarn which rides along at a cracking speed, this is a perfect primer to Kurosawa's world.
Essential cinema. Kurosawa took American western archetypes and situations and molded them into the samurai genre with divine result that wound up influencing Italian westerns. Wild. Yojimbo is much more than its influences however casting light on the cruelty of man, the pettiness and the thirst for justice and revenge. Mifune is magnificent here but its the pacing of the film and script that make it a classic.
Yojimbo has been hailed for its impeccable technical, moral and influential qualities. The strongest, however, is the quite avant garde critique on a transformative capitalistic society. Cinema is perspective and here Sanjuro is our center, our conscious, our outside look into a world dominated by greed. Once again, Kurosawa reveals to be a master of doing complex things in a very, very simple form.
Another memorable character for Toshiro Mifune in perhaps Kurosawa's most influential film.His brilliant performance,with that physical presence and revealing expressions,carries the film.
Dark humour and stunning black and white photography make certain scenes less gory.
Near the last act, it sadly abandons the dynamic nature of the 2 families and focuses too much on a single one. This was a missed opportunity to have an ending in which both families destroy each other, AKA 2 birds with one stone. As it is, this is a highly enjoyable tale with some wonderful comedy, especially early on with the dog. Each shot also has beautiful lighting and Kurosawa was the master of composition.
The original is always the best, and directors always look to the best. Kurosawa gives us an epic samurai film that allows the viewer to join mifune in all the fun. A masterpiece in which ever way you view it. Action, drama, politics it's got it all. Plus a sequel!