Ran

Ran ★★★★★

I grabbed the ridiculous 4k bluray steelbook of Ran the second it was available and then inexplicably waited weeks to actually play the movie. What the hell? Was I intimidated by how goddamn huge it is, an epochal samurai epic from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time? Did I worry I wasn't even going to be able to appreciate how grand it is, somehow not despite but because I'd already seen it once before and knew how monumental it felt? Like I knew what I was in for and also knew I couldn't fully fathom it, my brain was too puny and now with the fresh 4k restoration my eyes wouldn't even be able to properly handle it? I dunno, maybe. Maybe I just kept picking random new movies instead of the ones I spent money on, glaring at me from the shelf because I'm simply an idiot. It's entirely possible! This point is, I finally sat down and blasted Ran in the best quality it's ever looked and sounded during the final week at my old house, alone in the dark with the volume cranked up, and felt so overwhelmed I was beyond-compelled to bump my rating up to a full five stars. So overwhelmed in fact that I looked back at my original review from 2019 and sighed, realizing I had almost nothing more to say. I still feel unprepared to say anything real about this movie beyond what I coughed up three years ago, sputtering in the wake of such colossal tragedy.

So here's that little bit:

I've got absolutely nothing new to say about Ran, and frankly nothing substantial, after my first viewing at age 36. I just have to share the fact that it is as good as everyone said, as richly beautiful as I'd hoped, and as epic as a samurai take on Shakespeare could ever be.

The skies! The colors! The slow build into absolute fury. The heaviness of watching it all fall down. To think that Kurosawa made this near the end of his career - it feels so vital, fresh, angry. I will watch again but I need to give this time.

One last thing: I finished a bottle of Yamakazi, a beautiful single malt Japanese whisky, while watching the movie and just have to say that it felt like the perfect beverage<-->film synergy I've experienced since white russians and Big Lebowski.

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