Ugetsu ★★★★

This feels like a hazy shade of grey that possesses a primitive, numbing effect that obscures the truth - the same effect that blurs our perceptions of time and space. It is a parable of humanistic yearning for an accumulation of wealth and fame, which views the great lengths that men are willing to go to by the sound of their egocentric calling while the women have to suffer for their actions as a result. Mizoguchi’s aesthetic achievement is unparalleled. His shot compositions are immaculate, with each scene perfectly framed, as the cameras move sensually from landscape to landscape, body to body, shadow to shadow in spite of any disturbance; in parallel to a free-floating, slinking motion resembling that of a ghost wandering through the troubled earth.

Ugetsu is both elegant and destructive in its presentation of war and what it means to men and women. Mizoguchi had sung a lullaby for these women, whose lives were pilfered at the hands of war boys and ambitious men who had been consumed by greed, by reconciling both the spectrums of atrocity and beauty with an earnest, compassionate voice. A fool’s dream where one cannot wake up, does not want to wake up. It is better to stay asleep because that is the only good thing the fools are good at. To maintain the veil of illusion at all costs - Call it the eternal pursuit of happiness.

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