Updated: May 26
Rashomon is a black and white Japanese film from 1950 directed by legendary director Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshirō Mifune (Tajômaru), Machiko Kyō (Masako), Masayuki Mori (Takehiro), and Takashi Shimura (Woodcutter).
Rashomon is a film about four people recounting the murder of a man and the raping of his wife. From the outside, this might look just like a samurai film full of action, but really, it's a movie filled with deep meanings of justice and the morals of men.
One of the best aspects of this film is its beautiful cinematography, which combined with the amazing production design turns it into a magnificent work of visual art. You could quite literally hang some of the shots from this movie on your wall and trick people into mistaking it for professional photography. Truly spectacular work from cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa, who also collaborated with Kurosawa in other projects of his besides this one.
The performances in Rashomon were also fantastic, specifically the one from Masayuki Mori, who made all of her dramatic scenes seem extremely real.
Rashomon, being almost perfect, has one small flaw however, that one small flaw being Toshirō Mifune’s acting. It is far too over the top and ridiculously cartoonish in many scenes, and just doesn’t fit with the overall mood and tone of the film. Some scenes were even slightly ruined by the performance due to how it really killed the drama and tension.
Overall, Rashomon is still a beautifully crafted movie about justice and morals that features exceptional cinematography, production design, and an intriguing story.
Here at The CinemaScope, we recommend that you check out this classic.
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