|Formats:||12 DVD, 15 Blu-ray|
|Starring:||Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Mieko Harada|
|Genres:||Action/Adventure, Drama, World Cinema|
|Collections:||100 Swords and Sandals Films, Awesome Asian Films, Clash!, IMDb Highest Rated, Oscar Winners, Shakespeare Adaptations, Swashbuckling, Swords|
|Run time:||2 hours 35 minutes|
|Rental release:||03 May 2004|
Most helpful review
Classic Last Shout for KurosawaBy GraftheGreatest (15 reviews) from Harrow , 19 Sep 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]Ran is Akira Kurosawa's 1985 epic adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. Like Lear, Ran is about a king's (in
this case ageing Japanese Lord Hidetora, played by Tatuya Nakadai) arrogance & his eventual downfall due to
Kurosawa was himself 75 when he made Ran & was perceived as a great director on the decline. The auteur of such
classics as 'The Seven Samurai', 'Rashomon' & 'Hidden Fortress' was again to prove his ditractors wrong with
this classic, sweeping samurai masterpiece. It is said Kurosawa saw something of himself in Lear, or at least
Given an R rating, his goriest movie was a critical & commercial success, proving his fear's unfounded. Even
more hard to believe was this acheivement, given he was almost blind.
Lord Hidetora, decides to divide his land between his 3 sonsToro (Akira Terao), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu) & Saburo
(Daisuke Ryu), with the elder receiving the greater portion. Saburo sees the stupidity & folly of his father's
decision & is banished for saying so. Hidetora is then rebuffed by the other, corrupt & evil sons. A battle
ensues when Hidetora, residing at Saburo's deserted castle is attacked by the combined armies of Taro & Jiro,
who have now through their actions divorced themselves as his children. Forced to flee & wander the hills with
only his jester Kyoami (an actor merely referenced as Peter!) & faithful old assistant Tango (Masayuki Yui) he
slowly goes mad.
First Taro is killed in battle due to the machinations of Lady Kaede (Mieko Harada), seeking vengeance on
Hidetora's entire family for stealing her birthright. She then plots to marry her dead husband's brother, Jiro.
She seduces, threatens & eventually kills Jiro & finally inherits her family's castle. But even at this point
the story is not over. Saburo, the good son is kiled in battle & then Lady Kaede is murdered for her plotting
(again, another gory scene). Chaos, the direct translation of the film title is indeed what has happened as
almost all the main characters die, including Hidetora.
I liked this movie alot. The battle scenes serve their purpose but are not allowed to dominate or compensate
for good plotting & character development (did someone mention the over-hyped Tarantino?). This is a case of a
well-crafted stylised movie BUT not one of style over substance.
Kurosawa sticks to the main themes of Lear; blindness, nothingness, treachery, madness & foolishness without
the movie feeling bound by them. The last shout of a truly great director.
The dvd features were non-existent but for such a great movie this is more than forgiveable.
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A masterful blending of the epic and the intimateBy zebe (3 reviews) , 18 Nov 2012A masterful blending of the epic and the intimate, this wonderful film based on Shakespeare's King has powerful, sweeping visuals but it is the moment of intimate, emotional intensity that will touch you to the core,
RAN will keep u interestedBy Comfi2 (2 reviews) , 02 Sep 2012As Great Japanes films go this is Good..as the story line is griping..your curiosty to the ending should keep you there..but its a long film and slow in places but agian it is interesting..
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Certainly worth watchingBy Abby88 (170 reviews) from Bognor Regis , 25 Aug 2012I really enjoyed this film. It can be funny and heart breaking, silly and serious. A great film I will remember and recommend.
Beauty and emotional powerBy erp (67 reviews) from Manchester , 14 Apr 2012
[Highly rated reviewer]I think this is one of the truly great films, a work of astonishing emotional power achieved through awesome mastery of narrative and visual orchestration. The dialogue (at least as translated in the subtitles) is crushingly banal and I think it really says something for the expressive power of every other aspect of the film that the poor dialogue doesn't weaken the emotional effect.
My absolute favourite film is the same director's The Seven Samurai, and the two works are remarkably different. Where The Seven Samurai achieves its power through our feeling towards and involvement with sharply individual characters, Ran is much more a film of big ideas, of generalisation on the human condition. Some of the speeches express these ideas pretty crassly, but the film's images embody them in a piercing, hauntingly unforgettable way.
Kurosawa Masterpiece - Engaging, UnmissibleBy Zydor (268 reviews) from Headley Down , 21 Feb 2012I am always cautious of the Far East Genre of films, I do get tired of flying heros defying the laws of physics. Kurosawa has never been one to promote that genre excessively, and is in my view, one of the main reasons his films have made it so successfully in The West.
Undoubtedly however, indesputably, he is a wonderful Director and a Master of the Charactor type of film. He always manages to get the focus on the storyline, not the battle scenes - as impressive as the latter always are.
Ran is no exception, and has to be one of his best films, if not The Best. The King Lear storyline transposed into Japan works well in a backdrop of Samurai traditions. It also has a nice little twist at the end. Great Film, watch now dont delay :)