Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai ★★★★★

Seven Samurai (1954) is one of the greatest movies of all time. It pretty much invented the language of the action film and the posse film. It is also one of my top 5 films. This is a film that ask what we fight for in life. This film takes place at the end of the Sengoku era as 100 years of disunited civil war was being replaced with unification and a re-establishment of feudalism under the samurai-class. According to the film, the action specifically takes place during 1587 when the Japanese government under Toyotomi Hideyoshi was involved in the Kyushu Campaign to unite the last of the main Japanese islands. While this is going on, a coalition of 7 ronin (master-less samurai) come together to defend a village from bandits. This movie is a swan song to the sort-of co-mingling of different social classes in Japan before the Tokugawa-era ends that forever. This movie has everything in it--it meditates on everything and it still is filled with action and drama. It was the start of Kurosawa's re-imagining of the samurai film and it is still the benchmark of any film that shows a bunch of heroes coming together to save the day.

As I stated in my review of Twenty-Four Eyes, 1954 was the greatest year in the history of Japanese cinema: if one made a list of every acclaimed Japanese film that year it would make an essential cinema list (Ozu missed out). The fact that this film was supposed to have come out a year earlier, but was delayed because the weather and Kurosawa's perfectionism was near-divine fate. While this film was ranked the third best film by Japanese critics for 1954, this has easily been the most celebrated film internationally of that year.

When reviewing a film like this, one does not know where to begin or end so I'll just bring it all to a close here.

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