Ran ★★★★★


"Are there no gods? No Buddha? If you exist, hear me! You are mischievous and cruel! Are you so bored up there that you must crush us like ants? Is it such fun to see men weep?"
"Enough! Do not blaspheme! It is the gods who weep."

Let's be honest with ourselves for a second: Kurosawa has always been a rather cynical director. From the bittersweet ending of Seven Samurai to the gut-punch ending in High And Low, Kurosawa always has had a talent for hitting you hard with a punch of bitter, cynical realism. If anything, Ran is a culmination of all this cynicism, creating what is by all means the most bitter film ever produced. In Ran, we see power and war for that power tearing families and empires apart, leaving no man or woman behind.

Ran paints a picture of humanity that is despaired and hopeless, yet entirely truthful.

In Ran, humanity is an old emperor sitting on the top floor of the burning tower he lives in, surrounded by enemies on all fronts, and not being able to find anything to end their life with, and thus just sitting down and accepting their fate.

In Ran, humanity is an old man picking flowers in a violent rainstorm, blissfully ignorant of the violence that he just left, the violence that he will soon face, and the ghosts of his own violence that haunt him.

In Ran, humanity is a blind man, standing on the ledge of a steep fall, abandoned by all life, and by God.

It's completely true that no film is more bitter than Ran, but there's something about Kurosawa's bitterness that resonates deeply.

I'll be honest with you: This may be the best film ever made.


June 2022 watches

1985 ranked

Akira Kurosawa ranked

HTT liked these reviews