Michael Cox’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Men prefer sorrow over joy... suffering over peace!" - Tango
Check out my "Movies LONG AF ranking" here
This was my first Kurosawa and what an introduction it was! The quality of filmmaking here was felt.
A tragedy in every sense of the word. A family torn apart because of its hunger for power. War decimates all shelters. Betrayal occurs at a moments notice. Affairs change the course of history. Anger blazes over like blazing fire it creates. Shame over past mistakes. A descent into madness after the loss of control. All of those ingredients combined create an epic tragedy that's able to sweep you off your feet and fill you with despair. It's one that William Shakespeare would be proud of and even admire to see his work being adapted like this.
Easily one of the best looking films I've ever seen. How it didn't win Best Cinematography at the Oscars I've never know. The colors, the sweeping and grandiose cinematography, the shot composition, the blocking... ugh... just everything about it was perfect. The scope of this film was just epic. The score was utterly marvelous and the costumes were something to be in awe of. The makeup and hairstyling was incredible. The screenplay was excellently written.
Everyone did a really great job. Akira Terao (Taro Takatora Ichimonji), Jinpachi Nezu (Jiro Masatora Ichimonji), Daisuke Ryû (Saburo Naotora Ichimonji) and Mieko Harada (Lady Haede) were some of the standouts along with Pîtâ (Kyoami). Tatsuya Nakadai (Lord Hidetora Ichimonji) was haunting as Ran's mad lord.
I don't have any really problems other the fact I didn't enjoy the whole time because I was distracted. I think I'll give a full 5 stars upon rewatch... Oh yes, one thing was that I was unsure if I was supposed to laugh at certain points. There were some jokes, but it felt wrong to laugh whole watching this tragedy.
What an incredible watch and it helps when you're reading King Lear which made this film all the more fascinating to watch. So happy I was finally able to watch it.
🔙Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion