Kurosawa's most formal masterwork, precisely controlled, building an apocalyptic allegory out of fog, shadow, and the elements. Its coldness is uncommon for Kurosawa, but wholly appropriate. See Mifune giving a speech from his balcony, and note the iconography of fascism: this is not simply Macbeth-as-Noh, but an anguished response to the horrors of WWII. And unlike Macbeth, it offers no pretense of a moral ending.
After his masterpiece Seven Samurai & paranoid I Live In Fear, Kurosawa is back w/ a jidaigeki adaptation of Shakespeare. Adhering to Noh tradition, the film has a static framing w/ characters moving in/out of the frame in silence. And as the pressure builds, w/ Mifune in a commanding performance, it comes to an ending you can't forget. The closest we'll get to a Kurosawa horror film, this is an underrated classic.
ok mr akira kurowhatever why have you RUINED MY CHILDHOOD has HOLYWOOD really run out of ideas you have to reboot the IRISH PLAY with HIPSTERS and their weird clothes and TOP KNOTS and MINIMALIST FURNISHINGS and oh so trendy ladida BLACK AND WHITE and thats not even REAL ENGLISH their talking not like in the FIRST ONE cant believe it what's next KING LEAR probably WHO ARE YOU anyway and youve got a GIRLS NAME bye
I could not get a hold of Mifune's performance. It didn't seem like Mifune. A character so defined by fear and anxiety does not reveal much about the person. I couldn't see the human. Likewise with the wife. The main reason to watch this is the scene with the trees moving. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
An adaptation that imbues the Bard's work with a sense of fatalism that only the Japanese can do, and as such it takes the whole supernatural and fate angles to great highs. My only issue was Mifune's performance which nailed the madness but never sold me that he was some great warrior. Some scenes, like the one with previous Lord's corpse, strangely drag on for no reason and, as such, the pacing stumbles at times