Ran

Film , Action and adventure
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(4 user reviews)
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Brutal violence, heartbreaking tragedy, political intrigue, slapstick comedy and family betrayal: few films cram in as much as Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 drama set in feudal Japan. Of course, credit is due to one W Shakespeare, whose ‘King Lear’ provides the backbone of this story about an ageing warlord whose decision to step down from power leads to war between his three sons. But ‘Ran’ is every inch a director’s movie, the emotional intensity of its story enriched by Kurosawa’s unique visual mastery. Coloured banners whip in the breeze, armies thunder across the plain and a world of sumptuous green is gradually replaced by shades of ash black and steely grey.

Tatsuya Nakadai gives a performance of silent-movie theatricality as Hidetora, the conqueror lord whose youthful exploits in battle have given way to a sedate, satisfied middle age. The shadows of his past rise up in the form of Lady Kaede (Mieko Harada, nerve-shredding), bent on revenge for the slaughter of her family. But for all its grandstanding, this isn’t just a film of grand gestures. Its true power is found in the small moments: a son angling branches to shelter his dozing father, two lovers hastily straightening their clothes, a jester wondering if he’s the fool – or everyone else.

Release details

Release date: Friday April 1 2016
Duration: 162 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Screenwriter: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Masato Ide
Cast: Tatsuya Nakadai
Akira Terao
Jinpachi Nezu
Daisuke Ryu
Mieko Harada
Yoshiko Miyazaki

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|4
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Ray

Truly wonderful, in an age where superlatives are overused, this earns all the plaudits. The Director successfully manages to use his camera as a conduit, and is one of the few that can manipulate us without close up. In any other hands you'd feel cheated that you're not getting to see the expressions on the faces of some of main actors, but with this director you know its part of the metaphor, we are close together and yet cannot tell what the other one is thinking. Why oh why don't more directors appreciate the finer arts of filmmaking?

Ray

Truly wonderful, in an age where superlatives are overused, this earns all the plaudits. The Director successfully manages to use his camera as a conduit, and is one of the few that can manipulate us without close up. In any other hands you'd feel cheated that you're not getting to see the expressions on the faces of some of main actors, but with this director you know its part of the metaphor, we are close together and yet cannot tell what the other one is thinking. Why oh why don't more directors appreciate the finer arts of filmmaking?

MC

A magnificient film. Visually stunning and worthy of all the critical acclaim.

MC

A magnificient film. Visually stunning and worthy of all the critical acclaim.