Directed by: Akira Kurosawa
Countries & Regions: Japan
Studio: British Film Institute
Length: 207 mins
Region: Region B
Released: 25 August 2014
Cat No: BFIB1199
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Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece tells the story of a group of 17th Century warriors recently detached from the powerful masters who once... Read More
For many, Seven Samurai represents one of the first stepping-stones on the way to a deeper appreciation of cinema. Seven Samurai is not for everybody – if you want inane stylized violence seek out the Baby Cart or Zatoichi series. But, if you find yourself reaching for something more beautiful, more real, and ultimately more human - then Seven Samurai is for you. Someone once said that, “Seven Samurai is the yardstick against which all action films should be measured” and few truer words have been spoken about a film. It has the greatest depth of all action films simply because it uses everyone of those 190, or so, minutes to truly develop it’s characters. Seven Samurai will take you by surprise; at first the film appears to be moving too slowly, but by the end there is the realization that it was you yourself who was moving too fast. Nothing is forced - the story simply grows around the viewer; one minute you are in your living room, the next you are trying to save the village from bandits. Objectively, this film is a cinematic masterpiece that will continue to rank among the best. Subjectively, I haven’t yet found a greater film – for me it ranks number one!
I was particularly enthralled by the performance of one of the lead characters played by Toshiro Mifune who had me in stitches all the way through, and the rest of the cast were also on top form.
With this film, the director also demonstrated a skill for experimental editing-techniques and in one particular scene he excels, depicting a chase sequence with some extremely snappy editing.
I was also impressed with the climax of the movie as it draws everything that has transpired over the last two hours to a dramatic end and it leaves you on the edge of your seat asking for more.
The score also works wonders in this film and always manages to perfectly capture its mood and enhance the overall experience.
I have been a fan of Kurosawa's films for a long time and this is definitely one of his best, right up there with the likes of Rashomon and Yojimbo.