Ruth Scouller’s review published on Letterboxd:
Mizoguchi, come on down! I feel we will get to know each other a little bit more :D
Ugetsu is my first Mizoguchi. A very powerful, moral film about 2 ambitious men and their already satisfied and suffering wives in a time of chaotic feudal civil war.
The moral of the story is powerful, as the mens priorities (especially the samurai wannabe) are out of touch. One even desires to be (and later have) a vassal, ugh! They both spiral down their own abyss before coming out at the end having learnt their lesson.
The most transcendent element of the film is the ghost story. The entire score has some beautiful, transcendent music, and that is used eerily in these sequences. It makes the 'happy' ending a bit suspicious, and ultimately a sad dream.
Ugetsu ultimately is a powerful moral tale about not taking for granted and feeling blessed about what you have. A genuine classic, I am now keen to see more of Mizoguchi's work.