Dolev Amitai’s review published on Letterboxd:
I find it the hardest to rate the 5 star films, especially when they are epics.
It is much easier to rate films like Raging Bull simply because while there are a lot to praise, mostly the praise falls on the director, camera and acting.
In films like Once Upon a Time in America and now Ran, the film has so much, especially when they are 2 1/2 hours or longer.
Its a little funy that while so many of his films have been Americanized [(Maginifcent Seven (Seven Samurai), Star Wars (Hidden Fortress), Yojimbo (A Fistfull of Dollars)], Kurosawa went and adapted William Shakespeare's King Lear.
Kurosawa took Shakespeare's play and mixed it wiuth the samurai genre to create a masterpiece.
Lets start with the colors. I never though Kurosawa was a director with such an eye for colors and visuals.
When I wanted films full of colors, I usually went to Wes Anderson, and for an Asian film, Zhang Yimou.
In Ran, Kurosawa showed me his talent. The screen is filled with such vibrant colors. Red samurai in front of the grey land. Bloodin complete stark to the grey lands.
Scenes full of yellow and blue.
Simply eye candy.
The score is terrific highlights the film. Iconic, and fits everyone's expectations for a samurai film score.
The battle scene, which is mostly all score and sight is such an amazing scene.
The acting. While this film not a film that highlights its actors, they are still terrific. One has to look out for them, but the performances are great. In his scenes, Kurosawa usually frames multiple characters.
Even in the beginning, when warlord Hidetora Ichimonji tells his sons of his plan to split his kingdom to three, one for each of his sons. Watch each brother react to his announcement.
The direction. Flawless. Everything from the use of colors, the framing, the long shots, the epic battle scenes. Everything is amazing. Before this film, the only other Kurosawa film I had seen was Rashomon.
Rashomon is a black and white film, and has very few actors.
Compare it to the epic scope of Ran.
Betrayel, greed, lust for power. Manipulation. Everything is here.
For those who watch Game of Thrones, imagine the show, just ten times better in terms of epic scope and story.
In a film mainly starring males, with each of the sones wanting the power, it is a little amusing to find out that Lady Kaede is the one planning everything.
Ran is simply a masterpiece. In every single way. From the colors, the score, the visuals, the story, the dialogue, the acting and mostly the directing.
Kurosawa at his best.