thelistislife42’s review published on Letterboxd:
This is my first film by Kenji Mizoguchi, and I am absolutely enthralled. The majority of the film is pretty good, but it is towards the end that it becomes a masterclass of foreign cinema and of cinema in general. With excellent direction, great performances, and stunning cinematography, it is definitely one of the best films to come out of the Japanese Golden Age. Though the first two acts are a bit slow, the build-up is completely worth it, as the final act is brilliantly powerful and unsettling in equal measures. It is an interesting look into the rise and fall in each of a group of four villagers, and offers compelling insight into the world of greed and corruption, as well as that of magical realism and fantasy. Overall, it is a stunning film, and I highly anticipate experiencing more of what Mizoguchi has to offer.