Yet another very unpredictable but very good film.
The film that put Japanese cinema on the map, Rashomon takes the story of a bandit, a newlywed wife, her husband samurai, and a woodcutter that discovers the samurai's body. A court hearing is issued where all the parties speak their own truths, and the woodcutter along with a monk and a random passerby tries to piece the crime together and know the real story. I greatly enjoy this form of storytelling, yes I admit crime stories are far from something I enjoy but mysteries can be very entertaining. This is a film that you don't casually watch from the sidelines, you're right in there piecing the stories together and finding common facts that are in all the accounts. But the film does go much deeper than just, oh we gotta figure out what all happened between these people and the death of a samurai, the concept of good and bad more specifically morality are called into questioning. Because as you hear each person recount the events, differences come up and they all have reasons to lie. So it takes a much deeper look at people in terms of desires, character, and choices which I think is why so many people consider this film so great. And Kurosawa's directing style has pretty much hit the mark we will see throughout his other films, with dynamic and fluid camera movement, long takes that can showcase so much even at a distance, and the cuts though seeming a little off do work to the movie's advantage. I gotta say though Mifune is glorious in this movie, his whole attitude towards acting in this movie I can sum up in a simple phrase, go hard or go home. The frantic and deranged energy he potrayed in Stray Dog is multiplied tenfold in this movie, I cannot take my eyes off him when he is on screen! He's such a wild card which means you can never tell what on earth is gonna happen next, I swear you can see the literal fire in his eyes in some shots, the man just conquers this role and this film singlehandedly. We see Takashi again in another smaller role, but he makes up for it entirely in the last scene in my opinion. Usually most people when they decide to watch Kurosawa they start here, and I'm not arguing this is a bad place to start. If you want the feudal, samurai driven Kurosawa films then this is the place to start, but I didn't want to do strictly his samurai films. I really wanted to reach all corners and have a real Kurosawa 101, spanning his career from the beginning to the end. Which will lead us into his next film, Ikiru.