Thursday, June 25, 2009

RASHOMON (Japanese) (1950)

I watched this film first time and for me it’s quite difficult to write about this Akira Kurosawa’s touchstone. There are two reasons behind it. One, there are so many layers in the plot and second, it’s full of fine symbolic philosophical value. It’s again a film which one has to watch at least twice to absorb its profound symbolism on human absurdity.

On a stormy rainy night three men told their own version of a ghastly murder. It’s confusing for the audience to rectify the real truth behind any of their story because it contradicts completely. There’s also the intriguing versions of a bandit, the murdered husband and his wife who was raped by the bandit. Kurosawa left the viewers to determine the truth on their own way without giving any clue. He had kept the intriguing part intact with different perspectives and it’s hard to judge the truth. Personally I think it’s climax and beautiful ending which made the film a learning lesson for humanity when the third man proclaims the universal truth that “All men are selfish”. Hearing the lines the priest lost his faith in humanity and than comes the most beautiful full stop of Kurosawa- the revelation of the woodcutter of having six children at home, which regained the ‘Hope of Humanity’ inside the heart of not only the priest but we the viewers too.

Kurosawa was artist pure to its salt. With minimalist and natural setting he made a film which remained bridging example between silent and modern era of cinematic art. The Black and White cinematography of Kazuo Miyagawa must retain syllabus course status for all camera men. The use of natural light, contrasting shots and extreme close ups are just original and innovative. It’s injustice for Kurosawa film if I forget the inseparable part of almost any Kurosawa classic. Toshiro Mifune was the best gift and wonderful discovery that Kurosawa had given to world of cinema.

The film had won so many awards including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, and also received an Academy Honorary Award at the 25th Academy Awards. Like so many of other Kurosawa films, this film also has a strong influence on many notable films of Hollywood as well as world cinema.

Pure Gold.


yale great lakes said...

I believe that the Indian movie "Via Darjeeling" is inspired (euphemistically) by this Kurosawa classic. There is similiarity between the story line and the treatment. I find such experiments as innovation in arts. Such movies do not consider its viewers as passive entities without mind and energy. They provide space to viewers to engage with the story, construct their own interpretation, and find their own ways forward.
Pratik Modi

Sushanta said...

Hi Hiren..!!

Rashomon is unique for being not conclusive in its story-telling. As I watched the movie,I was reminded of one statement made by one of our professors... " We are the hero in all our stories". This seems to be very true when one listen to narrations of the murder by all the characters in Rashomon. Everybody described the same incident in different ways keeping himself or herself at the center with a heroic image. I consider Rashomon to be special because of its ability to bring in various perspective before viewer, while dealing with the same reality.



HIREN DAVE said...

To- Pratik
dear u r right...even in my review of Via Darjeeling i mentioned that but i havent watched this masterpiece at that's surely long due film..I'm eager to watch another of Kurosawa classic- 'Ikiru'...I would be pleased if you help me to get it...
and its sheer pleasure to read your comment...keep sharing...

To- Sushant
Hi bro..although we haven't met personally, its suffice from readin ur comments that our tastes r common...Pratik told me about you that you are also gr8 film buff and suggested few quality films to him...your comment about perspective is really refreshing one...keep posting in same way...