Taro and Jiro's attack on the Third Castle is the most dramatic depictions of hell ever put on film. The smoke, ash, mist, blood, fire, red flags create a mortifying yet beautiful sequence. Nakada gives his best performance as an ageing Lord made to face the repercussions of his own vanity. Kurosawa's career has no shortage of visually brilliant films. This might just be the best of that lot. A bonafide masterpiece.
Enormous pictorial beauty in one of Kurosawa's most classical creations, in maybe every sense but its hopelessness. It's a last-gasp statement (even if not quite) that suggests a lifetime depicting the honour and nobility of samurai codes is not transferable to the battles fought by rulers or their soldiers. Thematically it's neat 'sins of the father' stuff but that image is magisterial.
3.5 - No better than Seven Samurai, Rashomon and other films Kurosawa has ever done in his lifetime, but still one of the great films of its time. Great acting, directing, costume and production design, a brilliant score, and great use of color and movement. However, sometimes the pacing kills the mood of the movie, and Throne of Blood is still his best Shakespeare adaptation.
Being familiar with King Lear, I found the opening to be slightly sluggish, as there were no great deviations from the play, which takes its time to "set up" the rest of the story. This lent the impression that it might be a simple retelling. However, after the slow opening it really came into its own, and the final act is terrific. Visually stunning throughout and very well acted.
Kurosawa demonstrates Shakespeare's universality in this adaptation. Lear's structure and thematic concerns are maintained but the result is wholly unique and pure cinema. His use of colour and composition keeps the story coherent, subtitles aren't really necessary. Ran doesn't abandon its theatrical roots either. The expansive production design is tactile and blocking is an important tool in the conflict. Masterful.
A masterpiece. It’s a great story anyway and Kurosawa & co don’t miss a beat. The gender reversals work well, but it’s the slow burn revenge plots that show just how inhumanity gets passed on in a seemingly unending cycle. We have progressed since then, but at times, only just. It’s a superb film, worth every good word written and spoken about it.
Every aspect of the presentation in 'Ran' is top notch, from the use of distinct colours for each faction to the electrifying shot compositions. The initial pacing is slow, but it pays off before long, thus revealing an epic of family, legacy, corruption of power and the futility of war. Another great Shakespeare adaptation from Kurosawa for sure.