Film Club Review – Ran
One of Kurosawa’s later films, Ran tells the story of a Japanese warlord with three sons who has decided to step down from power. I went into the movie excepting a visual feast, but what I got was a feast of high drama. I guess with a plot based from Shakespeare, I should have expected such. The story does lag a bit in the middle, but for the most part it moves along quite well.
I am a fan of stories with lots of political intrigue (which my love for The West Wing and A Game of Thrones will attest to), and this story had just the right amount. Though the political side went hand in hand brilliantly with the emotional context of a father losing his sons. A wonderful story well told. Tatsuya Nakadai gives an amazing performance as the King Lear like Hidetora and Mieko Harada is also great in the Lady Macbeth-ish role.
Though the heart of the film is in the family conflicts, Kurosawa keeps the scope on a large pallet, which great scenery and full battle scenes. Unfortunately, the DVD transfer I watched this movie on was simply atrocious. It was VHS quality, very disappointing for a film like this. However, its not the movie’s fault, and I can assume that it would be a visually striking film under the right circumstances.