A cinema classic, Rashomon introduced the Western world to the greatness of Akira Kurosawa and paved the way for fellow masters of the Japanese film industry. Using an innovative narrative style, this eloquent director reveals how the truth in any situation depends on your point of view. Four different narrators describe the same brutal act--a woman's rape and her husband's consequent death--yet the facts elude us because each interprets the story to make himself appear in the best light. Machiko Kyo and Toshiro Mifune turn in magnificent performances as the lady and her savage attacker.
This 1950 film by Akira Kurosawa is more than a classic: it's a cinematic archetype that has served as a template for many a film since. (Its most direct influence was on a Western remake, The Outrage, starring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt.) In essence, the facts surrounding a rape and murder are told from four different and contradictory points of view, suggesting the nature of truth is something less than absolute. The cast, headed by Kurosawa's favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, is superb. --Tom Keogh
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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