Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
A story of greed, a lust for power, and ultimate revenge when an elderly lord abdicates to his three sons, and the two corrupt ones turn against him. A profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.
With its powerful undercurrent of themes such as greed, power, religion, deception and revenge always at hand, breathtaking vistas captured which give the illusion of depth in the screen and the embodiment of a strange, barbaric beauty, Akira Kurosawa's Ran is a cinematic achievement unparalleled and incomparable. Ran is not a perfect film, but it is one that perfects particular components so powerfully and superlatively that all flaws are decimated, much like the measureless armies that Kurosawa presents and controls in his awesome battle sequences. With it's sweeping camera movements and sense of scope mastered, Ran is an experience that is provocative, haunting, educational and above all, enthralling.
As we enter an unfamiliar land but observe a familiar story unfold,…
I find it the hardest to rate the 5 star films, especially when they are epics.
It is much easier to rate films like Raging Bull simply because while there are a lot to praise, mostly the praise falls on the director, camera and acting.
In films like Once Upon a Time in America and now Ran, the film has so much, especially when they are 2 1/2 hours or longer.
Its a little funy that while so many of his films have been Americanized [(Maginifcent Seven (Seven Samurai), Star Wars (Hidden Fortress), Yojimbo (A Fistfull of Dollars)], Kurosawa went and adapted William Shakespeare's King Lear.
In a mad world only the mad are sane.
King Lear in Feudal Japan by way of Akira Kurosawa. While some of Hollywood's biggest directors were looking at Kurosawa for inspiration he was looking at Shakespeare for his. (note: the story is also combined with a samurai legend).
Widely considered Kurosawa's last masterpiece, I can't argue, mainly because I haven't seen his last three films (yet) but I can't imagine them surpassing this one with all due respect to the master. How appropriate is it that his last great film is based on samurai legend with a character based on King Lear at this stage in his life?
Watching the film knowing it's background also gives it a special…
After watching this film I have concluded that Akira Kurosawa is a genius. I mean, I already did after watching the masterpiece that was Seven Samurai, but this sprawling epic somehow manages to become superior to something that has no inferior, a masterpiece outdone by an another.
Ran is an incredibly powerful film, unmatched in it's ability to move the audience. We sympathise with a character we know we shouldn't and begin to learn from him. Forgiveness over battle and urge. If we swallowed our pride and just let our instincts go, there will be peace. These people were too proud, did not trust their fellow man. Thus it created war. Trust bought about the potential of a greater peace,…
While not quite the masterpiece that I found Seven Samurai to be...Ran is undoubtedly an expertly crafted epic that shows the breakdown of a family amidst the pointlessness of war.
I think the father's descent into madness throughout this film will haunt my dreams forever. It's the one aspect of this film that kept me glued to the screen. In all honestly, the actual war scenes at times were a bit confusing and hard to follow, sometimes featuring people or clans whose identities and motivations were unclear to me. Not saying it all doesn't make sense...but as a first time watch there were times in which I struggled to piece together who was fighting who and for what reason. For…
Emotionally powerful, visually stunning and technically perfect, Kurosawa's Ran is often considered alongside Seven Samurai, Rashomon and Ikiru to be the director's best film, directed at the age of 75.
Ran tells the story of Lord Hidetora, an aging lord with a dark and antagonizing past who upon abdicating to his three sons, finds himself the victim of betrayal by his two elder sons, learning of the true nature of the world and is haunted by memories of his past.
Lord Hidetora joins Takashi Shimura's Watanabe, the elderly bureaucrat from Ikiru as probably the most compelling character ever to appear in a Kurosawa film and is portrayed brilliantly by Tatsuya Nakadai, a previous collaborator of Kurosawa's.
Visually mesmerizing, Ran is…
This movie deserves a better blu-ray transfer.
I love "castle intrigue" and this movie has lots of it. And its rich with themes of redemption (or in this case not) and loyalty. Plus, samurai swords!
This film was a gender- and race-bending alternate universe fanfic before such things were cool.
Basically, imagine King Lear, but set in feudal Japan, with sons instead of daughters, and with a woman playing the Edmund character.
This is pretty faithful to the King Lear storyline (shame because I was hoping there might be a different ending in store), although it definitely adds a ton of awesomeness in terms of both action (the battle scenes!) and characters (they just seem to have a lot more depth in this retelling. I love Lady Kaede in particular).
I think Shakespeare would approve.
A solid story but a little too slow paced (long) for my personal taste.
That Studio Canal blu-ray really is bad news. Luckily it didn't nullify the fact that Kurosawa's Ran is a masterpiece of film. Mieko Harada is the standout, giving one of the most bone-chilling performances I've ever seen. The sets and costumes are grandiose in the best possible way. This is an epic in the ranks with Lawrence of Arabia and Spartacus.
Lacked in earlier movies
Was this pageantry.
Film 11# of Japanese Cinema Marathon
Remorse, treachery, nihilism, redemption, conflict, chaos, bloodshed and a family turning in on itself...these are a few of the things we see in one of Akira Kurosawa's final films. The landscapes are huge, the colours are lavish, the scenes are unforgettable and the performances are spellbinding. The film has a few moments of dragging itself slowly, but overall Ran is a special film examining the lunacy of warfare.
The story is based upon Shakespeare's King Lear and the legends of daimyō (territorial ruler in 16th century Japan) Mōri Motonari, but it is what Kurosawa, along with other screen writers Hideo Oguni and Masato Ide, do with this story. They produce a movie epic in…
Note: This is not really a review but an essay I originally wrote for a film class I took in 2006.
Men prefer sorrow over joy, suffering over peace
Akira Kurosawa’s Ran (1985) includes many elements that are shared throughout many of Kurosawa’s other films. Many of the themes Kurosawa explored involved different faults with humanity. Some of these faults include man’s lust for power and how different social classes work with what power they had. He also explored humanity’s inherent desire for violence and the futility of war. Kurosawa would also reference Shakespeare in many of his films, and much like Shakespeare’s plays many of Kurosawa’s films, including Ran, would deal with tragedy.
One of the most apparent of…
Last Wednesday (that would be June 09, 2010) I celebrated my 29th birthday. Now, by "celebrate" I mean that I took the day off work and sat at home and watched crappy movies. I'm hardcore like that. However, later in the evening Shaw Girl and I went over to E-Street Cinemas to see the new 25th anniversary print of Akira Kurosawa's Ran (1985). Personally I think it was very nice of E-Street to show one of my favorite movies on my birthday. Did I forget to mention that Shaw Girl got me an awesome Ran 25th anniversary poster as well? Because she did and she is getting it professionally framed now. How cool is that?
Now when I say that…
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