Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ran (1985)

Director: Akira Kurosawa. Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryû, Mieko Harada. 162 min. Rated R. France/Japan. War.

A brilliant celebration of exaggeration. The character gestures, their reactions, and the set colors are so exaggerated and attractive, Ran is far beyond a mere remake of Shakespeare's King Lear. This eye candy study of father-son relationship is so visually beautiful, you will never notice how the 2 hours and 40 minutes went by. Kurosawa was truly the "Emperor".

Mo says:


  1. I liked Japanese version too , however Kurosawa’ certainly tried to do some modification in the story like creation of lady Kaede . I also felt ( and read in an article) that Kurosawa’ emphasized to show dark past history of Hidetora more clear than King Lear because to justify why he had to make an atonement for his past. I think he believed in strongly to existence of hell & paradise in this world and this belief that all people are suffering for their wrong deed in order to be purified before death.
    Your right! After 2 and half hours it didn’t make me tired. Cinematography, battle action, acting, sound, music was really good. Now, I can guess why Kurosawa’ style in violence has been inspired by our bloody current filmmakers! …arrow in the eye!

  2. Fortunately or unfortunately, I wasn't as accustomed as you are to the original "King Lear" story. That made "Ran" a beautiful experience for me (my wife started watching from the middle - and continued watching till the end!), but made it difficult for me to compare this version to the original story.

    (BTW, can you believe Lucas has said Kurosawa films had a huge impact on him for the "Star Wars" story? The concept of a Jedi is obviously taken from Samurais, and he said R2D2 and C3PO were directly taken from two characters in Kurosawa's "Hidden Fortress".)