Thursday, 22 November 2007

Seven Samurai / Shichinin no samurai

Dir: Akira Kurosawa (Rashômon,Throne of Blood / Kumonosu jô, Madadayo / Not Yet, Yojimbo)
Cast: Takashi Shimura, Toshirô Mifune, Yoshio Inaba, Senji Miyaguchi, Keiko Tsushima, Isao Kimura, Daisuke Katô, Minoru Chiaki
Japan, 1954

Seen: July 7, 2007 at Cinematheque

Reason to see: It's on my List of 101 Films I Can't Believe I Haven't Seen, for being on the imdb's top #250 films (currently ranked as # 10). It is also my entry for week 29/52 for my challenge of seeing films in the theatre 52 weeks in a row.

Reason to review: My fourth and final review as a part of the Akira Kurosawa blog-a-thon

This film is a fascinating journey of integrity, faith and hope as a village being preyed on by bandits looks to hire samurai to protect them. However, not all samurai's are cut of the same cloth. As with any film that has multiple important characters were are giving opportunities to distinguish them from one another in various ways. But the story is not just about the seven samurai, but also very much the community that commissions them. It also speaks to having the skill and means to support, contribute and defend your family and community, specifically the experience of not being able to do this things. In some says it's a parallel underdog story and band of misfits story. For me, that is always a great start. There are so many wonderful characters and special moments with them. That being said there are also many challenges, some of which are hard to take. All in all, it is worth it to stick with it to then end as it is an excellent film.

There were some sound quality issues when I saw this film and I think that put a damper on my enjoyment ever so slightly. Even with that, out of all the Akira Kurosawa films I've seen I would have to say that Rashômon is my favourite, with this coming in as a close second.

This film was remade numerous times, most famously as The Magnificent Seven starring Yul Brynner.

Fair warning - it's a long one! Most cuts of the film are 3 hrs plus so make

Shannon's Overall View:
I really enjoyed it
I'd buy it
I highly recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

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