|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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Great film - disappointing Bluray transferBy colinl (9 reviews) from Wokingham , 01 Apr 2010Despite its length there is so much, of such great quality, going on that the time flies. That said the transfer to Bluray was pretty disappointing, this didn't look much better than an average upscaled DVD, when it was obvious that the original material had massive promise for higher definition
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Time Ran outBy Stephen from North Cornelly, South Wales , 28 Dec 2009Akira Kurosawas fine body of work is not best served by this late addition to the cannon. Beautiful scenery but little else to commend this re-working of the King Lear story. Old sets from his earlier glories such as Throne of Blood are re-visited, but castles remain in the air as the basic story, storyline and dialogue stretch even the most benign of viewers.
MasterpieceBy GaryI (785 reviews) from March, Cambs , 25 Oct 2009Kurosawa's shakespearean masterpiece, a monster of a movie and if you love cinema then you must see this at all costs.
Yes it will be a test to keep up eith the dynamics of the narrative, but the sheer spectacle of this film is unbelievable. Much imitated since its a must see.
The PlayerBy a customer from Bury St. Edmunds , 14 Oct 2009Probably the best film about Hollywood ever.
Amongst Altman's films, it's right up there with Nashville and Mash.
Ran......on just a little bit too long.By a customer from Kirkcaldy , 29 Aug 2009Don't get me wrong, I loved this film.
The atmosphere, as in all Kurosawa films was electric with his unmatched use of the natural elements.
The acting throughout all the cast was superb especially the Lord Hedotora character.
My love affair with Japanese epics of this nature however is always slightly diminished by my inability some times to tell the characters apart when in traditional samurai costume.
That said I can recommend this epic story to anyone looking for an entertaining and outstandingly directed film.