The Criterion Collection
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A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice, Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made. Four people recount different versions of the story of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife, which director Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai) presents with striking imagery and an ingenious use of flashbacks. This eloquent masterwork and international sensation revolutionized film language and introduced Japanese cinema—and a commanding new star by the name of Toshiro Mifune (Yojimbo)—to the Western world.
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What makes Rashomon notable, besides the fact that it was made in 1950 in Japan, well before the modern convention was used in most films, is that is uses a non-linear approach to the tale. Instead of having a static protagonist and setting, the same story is told from many points of view. In Rashomon, there are four main perspectives from which the same story is told. The event which the story revolves around is a rape and murder. However, just as in real life, the truth about what really happened is not as clear as we would like.
The movie is full of action which keeps most viewers entertained, but it is also home to a stunning story of truth, justice, and consequences. The director, Kurosawa, focuses on the difficulty in knowing what human nature is really like, as it goes through the different perspectives of the characters in the story. The picture is better because background information about the film indicates that the director's favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, plays the lead role. This unity is obvious throughout the film which is a work of art.
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I originally saw this film because my film class.Read more