MoviePosters.2038.net

 

Ran (1985)

Original Title : Ran
Director : Akira Kurosawa
Writer : Masato Ide
Akira Kurosawa
Hideo Oguni
William Shakespeare
Genre : Drama
War
Country : Japan
Language : Japanese
Producer : Katsumi Furukawa , Masato Hara , Hisao Kurosawa , Serge Silberman
Music : Tôru Takemitsu
Photography : Asakazu Nakai
Takao Saitô
Masaharu Ueda
Distributor : Ekaterinburg Art Home Video (EAHV) [ru]
IMDB ID : 0089881
Official site : http://www.ran2000.com/
OpenSubtitles.orgSearch Subtitles on opensubtitles.org
poster for "Ran" by Akira Kurosawa (1985)
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
 

Starring

Tatsuya Nakadai Lord Hidetora Ichimonji
Akira Terao Taro Takatora Ichimonji
Akira Terao Taro Takatora Ichimonji
 

Plot

This is a Japanese adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. An aging warlord decides to split his kingdom between his three sons, who will live in three separate castles. The two eldest sons are quite happy, but the youngest thinks his father has gone mad, and predicts that it won't be long until the two older brothers are fighting with each other.
 

Comments

Sometimes, given sufficient objectives, even the people who are closer to you than anyone else can turn against you. In another lengthy samurai epic, Akira Kurosawa approaches the boundaries between family members and the damaging affects of one of his rather common themes - reckless ambition. This is very clearly a Kurosawa film, a respectable trait that is most clear in the cinematography, in which Kurosawa uses many extensive shots with little to no camera movement, as well as the common natural setting, characterized by the far-reaching landscapes of sweeping hillsides. Ran has a fascinating plot about an aging King who considers passing on his empire to his three sons. Lord Hidetora is well into his 70s (maybe Kurosawa saw part of himself in this character?), and he addresses the fact that he cannot go on ruling forever, despite the fact that he fought for his empire for over 50 years. His youngest son disagrees with his proposition of passing on leadership yet maintaining much of his control, yet Hidetora nonetheless divides his kingdom into three parts to his sons, hoping that they will remain allies. As an incentive, he demonstrates with arrows that a single one can be broken easily, but three arrows together cannot be broken as easily. The three sons, Taro, Jiro, and Saburo do not agree with Hidetora's philosophy and, as new leaders of their respective portions of Lord Hidetora's kingdom, they soon begin to fight each other for full leadership. Hidetora is attacked by his own sons and cast out of the kingdom, left to wander hopelessly from castle to castle with no one but his goofy jester at his side, who stays with the Lord entirely out of duty to him. One of Hidetora's three sons eventually returns and tries to patch up their damaged relationship, but before they can do that, he gets killed and Hidetora is left alone again, and the empire that he worked for during most of his life is left in ruins. As is also common in Kurosawa's films, there are a lot of interesting and significant characters in the film that play a substantial role in the story. When we first meet Lady Kaede, the woman who was married to Taro but then forced her way into marriage with his younger brother Jiro (the new Lord) upon Taro's death, she is holding a knife to Lord Jiro, threatening him with blackmail if he does not accept her as his wife. The first thing that makes her interesting is that her objective in marrying Jiro is to ensure herself a comfortable life, and so she can avoid fading into obscurity as the widow of a past Lord. Her blackmail threat has a lot of damaging potential for Jiro, and he accepts her as his wife. From the very start of her role in the film, her ultimate goal was to bring about the downfall of the kingdom in order to avenge her family who had been killed when Lord Hidetora was in power. This is not expected or even hinted at previously in the film, and it gives her character much more depth. There is some great irony in Ran that occurs after Lord Hidetora is banished and is left wandering the endless plains. He and his jester come across a run-down wooden shack at the foot of a hillside, and they approach it, asking for help and shelter. The occupant, after explaining that his home is too poor to offer any shelter, turns out to be a man who, as a boy, had had his eyes gouged out under the orders of Lord Hidetora in exchange for sparing his life. Once the jester and Hidetora are inside, the man explains that he will offer hospitality in the only way that Hidetora left him able, he will play them music on his flute. In this scene, Hidetora is confronted with the terrible suffering which he once imposed, and it is horribly ironic that he is forced to take shelter from someone that he once devastatingly mutilated without a second thought. In Ran, as was also the case in Kagemusha, which is a very similar film in time period and content, Kurosawa again employs a subtler style of directing. Again, he focuses more on the story than on cinematic trickery, and with spectacular results. The extensive use of the motionless camera is stunningly effective, but he also uses it in a different way here. Ran opens with a series of stationary shots of a group of horses standing majestically with their riders on the top of a flowing hillside. Virtually the exact same image is shown from a fairly wide variety of different angles and distances, indicating the vastness of the plains and the power that these characters hold (or will soon hold) over them. Again, a musical score is entirely absent throughout the vast majority of the film, and the same lengthy scenes are employed to a large extent to communicate the story of the film. An example of one of these exceedingly long takes can be seen early in the film when Lord Hidetora first announces his what he intends to do with the leadership of his kingdom. The ending of Ran is definitely realistic, for many reasons. There are no myths perpetuated by it, close family members do not always stand together, even the noblest intentions are not always realized, and no one lives happily ever after. Ran is the story of a man in a position of power who makes a trusting decision that backfires devastatingly, and the ensuing madness is not altered to make way for a happy ending. It seems that Kurosawa was trying to capture the militarily charged atmosphere that is present in times of war, and the things mentioned above are some of the many efforts he made to make it all as real as possible, even at the expense of the audience's emotions.
 
poster for "Ran"
330 x 475
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
poster for "Ran"
216 x 310
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
poster for "Ran"
216 x 306
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
poster for "Ran"
150 x 210
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
poster for "Ran"
550 x 700
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
poster for "Ran"
335 x 475
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
poster for "Ran"
397 x 556
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
poster for "Ran"
527 x 395
Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa
{caption}