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Paul Jensen

RAN (1985) 5 stars

Kurosawa's most epic and vibrant masterpiece. Loosely based on King Lear, it is gloriously tragic. Akira's crowning achievement could only have been made at his ripe old age, bringing infinite wisdom to the story. The authenticity is assured and the humility and grand scale is awe-inspiring. The battle scenes are perceived as if through the perspective of the Gods. They weep at our tragic chaos. At one point, even their weeping is silenced as the Eldest brother is shot. Straight through the image of the sun, representing a God-like death. By the end, humanity is on the edge of disaster, blind and ignorant with the loss of spirituality. Shakespeare would have been proud.


Genre: Foreign
Director: Akira Kurosawa