Ran ★★★★★

Even in his later years, Akira Kurosawa remained a clear master of the art form of filmmaking. His use of colour singularly makes you feel like you're watching a film in colour for the first time, with almost each scene, however simple or complex, just bristling with visual finesse and beauty.

Tatsuya Nakadai as Hidetora in particular delivers a one of a kind performance as the tormented and broken Great Lord being betrayed by his sons. Very few of the characters in this film deserve sympathy, yet we yearn for all of them, and in typical Kurosawa and Shakespearean fashion, tragedy consumes them all by the end. The tragedy of one's personal demons and regrets for the actions that they have done, the complex relations of family, and the simple but sheer brutality of life, are at the forefront of this Shakespearean epic.

This isn't Kurosawas very best, but it's easily one of his 5 best films ever made, and puts most films, period, to shame with its absolutely harrowing and breathtaking depiction of battle that few war films have captured or matched.

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