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187 of 196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth & Illusion.
If you have never seen this film, you will come to it and find it very familiar. That's because Rashomon has become part of the world's consciousness & lexicon. It's story of an action involving several participants, each with their own differing version of the truth, has been elaborated and riffed-on by many others since it appeared on the world's stage in the...
Published on March 30, 2002 by Archmaker

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An old film but a good one.
Yes, Kurosawa produced some innovative camera techniques along with creative storytelling. He did a lot for cinema altogether. But much like the beginning pioneers in any field that isn't necessarily enough anymore to get a perfect score or even a great score. I have watched a good amount of his films and I just cannot get past the terrible acting in many of them. The at...
Published 1 month ago by Crank


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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, April 9, 2004
By A Customer
This is an excellent movie with lots of deep meaning. Intriguing and wonderful. The director is genius
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rashomon, February 19, 2005
A Warrior, his Wife, and a Thief encounter each other in a forest. The Wife is raped and the Warrior dies. Establishing who is responsible for what and what truly happened proves difficult, if not impossible. Through a series of flashbacks and stories-within-stories we come close to learning the `truth,' learning the limitations of `truth' in the process.

I approached RASHOMON with a certain amount of trepidation. I watched it years and years ago and don't remember much about the first viewing. I'm happy to report that RASHOMON can be enjoyed without notepad or textbook. It's a beautiful looking black-and-white film that was more or less Kurosawa favorite Toshiro Mifune's coming out movie. Mifune plays the Thief with a full palette. As the various stories unfold, the Thief ranges from noble to craven, from hysterical to plotting. Sometimes Mifune seems a little... excessive to me, but sooner or later I catch up with what he's doing. In other words, he's brilliant, and repeated viewings won't catch him playing it false. And if there's ever been a movie that rewards repeat viewers, it's RASHOMON.

There are classics and there are Classics, and Akira Kurosawa's RASHOMON is a 600-pound lumbering giant of a Classic. Capital-C Classics can be a little intimidating and more than a little disappointing. RASHOMON can be enjoyed without digging deep into it. The commentary track by Donald Richie is informative, if a little didactic. He tends to tell us what we're seeing, although he compensates by also letting us know what to look for in repeated viewings. The introduction by Robert Altman could probably have been dispensed with without too much harm - basically it's six minutes of Altman telling us how much he likes the movie. The except from The World of Kazuo Miyagawa is interesting and abrupt.
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25 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth is elusive, reality subjective. A tale well told., December 7, 2002
This review is from: Rashomon [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I've heard about this 1950 Japanese film all my life and have even incorporated the word "Rashomon" into my vocabulary. It means that the truth is elusive and people will remember things with their own particular spin. When the film first came out it was nominated for an academy award and is still considered the masterpiece of the director Akira Kurosawa.
Shot in black and white, the mood is set right at the beginning, as there's a rainstorm going on and a priest and a woodcutter are seeking shelter in an ancient temple. Both of them are troubled, as they have heard witnesses to a crime explain events that they just "don't understand". When a third man joins them, they tell their stories. Eventually the audience watches the reenactment of four different versions of the same incident. At the end, there is still confusion.
The acting is done in classical Japanese style, which is more appropriate for a large auditorium than for a small screen. The actors shout, they roll their eyes, and every gesture is exaggerated. There's passion throughout and a great mythic theme. It seemed all to be set on a great stage. And the interesting part is that three out of the four people telling the story claim to be the killer. The cinematography is also special, using the rain as one realm of reality and harsh sunlight as another. The woods in which the crime takes place look hot and stifling, and the actors are all excellent.
However, once the novelty of the setting and the dramatic elements of this stylized film wore off, I found myself restless. It was only 83 minutes long but it seemed much longer. I do applaud its art and its message. I therefore recommend it. However, I just can't help the fact that it didn't engage me completely.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are you doing reading his? Go and get THIS MOVIE!!, February 7, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Rashomon [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Cinema would not be the same nowadays without this fil
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Who's Telling The Truth?, August 14, 2006
By 
Ernest Jagger (Culver City, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Or for that matter, what is the truth? Director Akira Kurosawa leaves this for the viewer to decide. As the films narrative moves forward, we all know that a crime has been committed, and more importantly, by whom. So what is Kurosawa out to prove in this masterful film? That everyone has a different view of the truth? Perhaps some of us embellish the truth? Or possibly something altogether different? In Akira Kurosawa's film, "Rashomon," the viewer is introduced various witnesses to the rape of a woman, and the murder of her husband. Why are there different interpretations by the various witnesses to the crime in the film? Are they lying? Or is there a mixture of both lies and truths? Director Akira Kurosawa has left this for the audience to decide. This is a great film, however, I do not believe that it is Kurosawa's greatest film. "Ikiru," holds that distinction---for me at least. "Rashomon" has always been one of the most talked about films in Japanese cinema, and many place it amongst the greatest films ever, be it foreign or domestic.

This films narrative is an attempt to let the viewer decide who is telling the truth, or why the different characters each have a different interpretation. But why are they all different? There have been many different opinions of this film, and even after all these years since its release, this film has been discussed at length. So what is Kurosawa out to prove? That even the innocent may have something to hide? Or that our perceptions of reality differ? The film starts off with a man that has just testified to a horrible crime. And from here the film begins innocently enough with a woodcutter walking through the woods. This woodcutter is portrayed by the late, great actor, (Takeshi Shimura). He is a witness to a crime. But he is not the only witness. There are four different versions of a murder and rape: the woodcutter, the deceased mans wife, the killer (Toshiro Mifune), and the victim---through the use of a medium.

The one thing I was really impressed with by this film, both at the time I first saw it many years ago, and recently again on this CRITERION DVD was the way Kurosawa used his camera. The way the woodcutter is walking through the forest, and especially the way the wind seems to capture the forest breathes life into the film. The forest appears to come alive as Takashi Shimura is walking through the woods. Plus, the way the wind blows and the sound of the rain falling at the beginning and ending of the film makes one feel they are part of the forest itself. This film will be talked about as long as cinema exists, and many will give their own interpretations of the film.

For me, however, the film is telling in many ways, as each of the characters have something to hide: be it their own perception of the truth, or their unwillingness to come to terms with the truth: Be it guilt or shame. Moreover, I really like the way that Kurosawa uses the non-verbal area of the film: The visuals themselves. As in many Kurosawa films, the cinematography does much of the talking---and just looking at the scenery, and trying not to focus too much on the dialogue; one can see that Kurosawa relies heavily on the visuals themselves, as they are as much, if not more, of the story. As for who is telling the truth? And why are there different versions? This I leave for others to decide for themselves. [Stars: 4.5]
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic all the way, October 30, 2002
By A Customer
This will be short and to the point- If you call yourself a movie fan than watch Rashomon. IT is a true example of pure cinema magic. You won't regret it!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE example of page to screen mastery, April 26, 2003
By 
Ez-rhino (Monmouth, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
If your a beginning film buff looking to expand into Japanese films or a Japanese film sage this is the DVD for you. Based on Akutagawa's short story "In A Grove" , Kurosawa has transferred the page deftly and seamlessly to film. Short (compared to other Kurosawa films) and easy to understand ( hint: lighting {or lack thereof} and angles) make it enjoyable for anyone wanting to explore CINEMA.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best., January 20, 2003
By 
"jasongriffor" (Bedford, Tx United States) - See all my reviews
I have always loved Kurosawa's Samurai movies. From Yojimbo to the Samurai Trilogy, from Ran to Seven Samurai. I think his greatest two movies though are not samurai but more realistic (down to earth) movie dealing with the human mind. Red Beard is one and Rashomon is the other. I think Rashomon is a great movie to sit down and watch over and over again just to try and figure out the true answer in the movie. Yes, yet another movie that Director Kurosawa-san brought out Mifune-san as one of the lead actors, although this was one of the early years.
I beleive that Toshiro Mifune is the greatest actor of all time. I beleived that he was a compassionate doctor in Red Beard, a very strong Miyamoto Musashi, and even a Noble Makabe Rokuroto in Hidden Fortress. In Rashomon, I actually beleived he was a little son of a gun thief and lunatic.
Another good, but short role is played by Minoru Chiaki. It seems that he always gets the same role and always short. He also stars in a few other movies with Mifune/Kurosawa.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Case of Rape in 12th Century, September 19, 2005
By 
R. A Rubin (Eastern, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Rashamon is an incredibly influential film. In 1951 it seemed odd indeed with its five points of view, it's camera movement, it's melancholy theme, rape and murder. There is also a self-mocking element to the Samurai sword fighting and Kimono doll histrionics. The overacting is actually snide sarcasm about Japanese film or societal convention. Japanese film folks were surprised Western viewers grasped these ideas. After all, American Westerns have their formal rituals, the gunfight at noon, the horsy loner, and so on. 12th Century Samurai and their sword fighting, the status of women in Japan, their victimization, all is standard film fare in the East.

This one is a thoughtful film with interesting, original cinematography, but for those looking for huge battles as shown in the later Ran, this one is a Perry Mason court case.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RASHOMON rush!!!, February 14, 2007
I just want to comment on the quality and speed of delivery aspect in this case. It was very professional indeed. It is a good...NO...great delivery system. We are very appreciate on how u guys handle. (Even though we are in Indonesia). Once again, Thanks!
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Rashomon (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
Rashomon (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] by Akira Kurosawa (Blu-ray - 2012)
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