Quick-Thoughts: Akira Kurosawa’s Ran (1985)

Akira Kurosawa Binge Part IX of IX

I feel like my eyes have been replaced by packs of Skittles

I must admit, the second half of Ran has a deadly amount of filler that killed the momentum of the arguably flawless first act. While it’s indeed interesting to witness the crumbling of a power-hungry family, it’s furthermore difficult to care for the main character Lord Hidetora Ichimonji’s descent into madness when he’s a complete douchebag who totally deserves what has been destined upon him. In fact, most of the characters surrounding Ran (specifically, the brothers and the laborious men working aside them) are a bunch of annoying, underdeveloped pricks that were infuriating to get behind—some of their stimuli often felt very contradicting. And, to hell with that obnoxious Jester. Good on, Lady Kaede, however; I understood yuh. 

Now with that being said, holy s***; what a MOVIE.

Violence and battle choreography haven’t shined this majestically since…ever! It genuinely appeared like an impossible task was pulled off seamlessly in Ran’s chronic presentation by none other than filmmaking legend, Akira Kurosawa. And yeah, the cinematography will fool you into thinking that you’re colorblind immediately after you gaze out at something in the real world as the credits roll. It’s effortlessly one of the most beautiful-looking movies ever arranged.

I have a soft spot for how a loaf of the score is just composed with a gamble of insoluble animal noises—is this Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma? It makes the scenarios depleting on-screen seem a lot more anxious than if it excluded the chaotic sound bites. When the film does use an orchestra, however, particularly over the more catastrophic moments, the movie profitably deconstructs your psychological investment into something grander than just entertainment. It is morally petrifying to bare witness to. 

I additionally cherish when epic movies such as Ran succeed in catching you off-guard on numerous occasions. This is candidly one of those dramas that are unforeseeable to its outcomes or to which characters will perish. Well, unless you’ve already read Shakespeare’s play, King Lear. Cheaters.

Ran was sort of like a Throne of Blood “enhanced” edition to me, but truthfully, jokes aside, I’m just blown away that this mass-based caliber of a movie existed in the 80s. What a way to end off my Akira Kurosawa binge. What a way. 

Verdict: B+

Akira Kurosawa Ranked 

“Ran” is now available to stream on Vudu, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play.

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