Ran ★★★★½

Greed, power, madness. Funny how often those go hand in hand, isn’t it?

Kurosawa delivers yet again in a breathtaking epic yarn full of color, betrayal, beauty, and corruption. The fact that Kurosawa hand painted each and every storyboard for this film amplifiers just how detailed he was an an artist. And in a very literal sense, that bleeds over into the film. I don’t think I’ve ever seen blood utilized in a film to such an artistic degree before. And it’s not just the blood that adds to the visual deftness of the film. The landscape and sets are very stark in color, lots of motley grays and cream colors that help all the other more vibrant visual aspects stand out. The three primary colors used to represent the three thrones has such a lush pop to them that the whole film is a constant showcase for how color makes film so much better. 

Japanese filmmaking has it’s weird bits that I don’t quite understand (the near cartoonish fury that everyone seems to deliver their lines at, plus the constant screaming and crying). But that’s a cultural thing, I get it, I don’t hold it against the movie. 

Easily the most beautiful samurai film in existence.

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