Ran ★★★★½

Akira Kurosawa is one of the most versatile directors ever. This one for me is my least favourite of his films so far and I still thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

First, I thought that the use of colour in the film looked amazing. All of the different coloured banners and armour really did dazzle. The costume design is definitely one of the best parts of the film.

I have no prior knowledge about King Lear, which this film is based on, so I had no idea what would happen. But you could tell it would be a complete disaster from the beginning. Two of the sons are absolute morons who I wouldn't trust to catch a cold. They thought they were so clever with their schemes but they didn't have what it takes to rule because of their greed. Characters like Lady Kaeda would find it so easy to manipulate them and Saburo saw it coming.

Following around Hidetora with Tango and the jester is one of the weirdest things I have seen. This becomes even weirder when Tango rides off to find Hidetora's son, Saburo. The relationship dynamic between the two leads to some brilliant moments in the film. From presenting him with his crown of grass to the moment he dies and the outpour of emotion it lets out. Hidetora perhaps meant more to him than he ever did to most of his sons.

The battle sequences are also rather impressive and quite brutal too. The use of blood splatters and limbs being scattered everywhere really shows the brutality of war.

Where the film just loses out for me is that between the initial battle and the final act of the film it all gets a little bit too slow. The story doesn't really move and there is too much focus on characters like Lady Kaeda and her manipulations. If I were any of these people involved she would have been dealt with a long time ago.

Nevertheless, the film is another great Kurosawa experience. One of many I have enjoyed over the past few days.

I always try to ask for some suggestions at the end of a review. So this time I want to hear if you have any recommendations for films with great battles I wouldn't have seen.

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