Ran – Movie Review Ran–Movie Review–Ryan Bobo At the age of 70, after years of consolidating his empire, the Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (played brilliantly by Tatsuya Nadakai) decides to abdicate the throne and divide his domain among his three sons. To illustrate his demand for family unity, Hidetora shows that a single arrow can be easily broken, but three arrows held together are strong. But the loyalty the Great Lord dreams of doesn’t happen and his empire falls to family bickering and civil war, with the old lord traveling from son to son in a futile attempt to keep empire and family together. The film is beautifully well made, with subtle changes in color and texture as the story progresses. The characters makeup resembling an early form of Japanese theater.
Epic battles, requiring the use of 1,400 extras and hundreds of horses are shot using a multi-camera technique that Kurosawa himself developed. All of these elements combine to create a feeling of immersion in the story. And while some of the battle scenes seem a bit campy by today’s standards – with an overuse of blood that looks more like paint – the overall picture is dramatic, impressive, and visually stunning. At 2 hours and 40 minutes the film is a bit on the long side for most people but it does not deter from the fact that Ran is an incredible picture worth seeing and talking about. Whether you really are a pretentious film snob or just someone who appreciates seeing something well made, this film is a must-see.
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