AppsScraps Movie Reviews

Nov 2, 2010


Release date: 25 August 1950 (Japan)

This 1950 film, directed by the great Akira Kurorsawa, is the quintessential crime drama that perfects displays the art of narrating a story from many different perspectives. In medieval Japan, a woman is raped and a man murdered and the conflicting stories of the witnesses to this crime - including the victim`s via a medium - make the story. In the end, we are left to judge ourselves - as in life - and are perhaps left saying (as noted in the film`s first line) `I do not understand". But that is the film`s purpose and point. Rashmonon Introduced Japanese film to Western audiences (it won both the Golden Lion and Academy Award) and remains even today hugely influential. It is a mesmerizing masterpiece. Filmed by cinematographer Kazuo Migagawa, it starred the great Tshiro Mifune as the thief Tajomuru, Masayuki Mori as the soon-murdered samurai Kanazawa, the beautiful Machiko Kyo as his wife, Masako, Takashi Shimura as the woodcutter who happens upon the scene, and Minoru Chiaki as the priest.

Worth viewing many times over, Rashmonon gets my rating of 9 out of 10.

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