The plight of the common man is a subject that many can relate to, especially now in these times of economic doom. The lower-class poor folks that are often looked upon as being weak are often fairly easy for film audiences to sympathize with. These facts and many more provide reasons for audiences to fall in love with Seven Samurai.
Samurai tells the tale of a group of poor villagers that find themselves constantly being barraged by bandits. The things that they have worked so hard to grow and that they depend upon to live off of are being mercilessly pillaged ,and it seems the victims have no way to prevent these reoccurring travesties. At wit’s end, the villagers come up with a plan to hire seven out-of-work samurai to protect them from the oncoming bandit attack. The story that plays out is one that has secured its place in film history.
To say this film is great is surely an understatement to top all understatements. Many would call this Akira Kurosawa’s greatest film. Everything about this piece of cinematic genius is simply astounding. Brilliant cinematography, top-notch casting, superb writing, and obviously superior directing all prove why, as of this review, this film is #13 in IMDB’s top 250 films of all time.
With a run time of approximately three-and-a-half hours, some may not have or be willing to donate the time to this film, but I say to you, it’s worth it. There are times, I will admit, that I felt like drifting away from this movie mid-view, but as soon as those thoughts entered my subconscious, I began to notice some small detail or I found myself getting wrapped up in some subplot. That’s a good part of what makes this film so amazing. The subplots are nearly as engaging as the main focus of the film, and the actors involved in said subplots force you to want to stay focused.
Another part of this film that makes it so amazingly poignant is the sheer “at the end of their rope” feeling that you get from the villagers. All hope is absolutely lost in the beginning of this movie, and it shows. In one especially memorable scene, a bucket of rice is tipped over, and that rice just happened to be almost the last bit of nourishment the village had. To see the man whose job it was to watch the rice, picking it up grain by grain with tears streaming down his face, absolutely tears at my heartstrings, no matter how many times I replay the scene.
Seven Samurai is definitely a must-see for movie fans of all kinds. The brilliance that it defines defies all reason. From the cinematography to the acting, to the directing, to the pure, raw, emotion that this film embodies, I would give it a very high recommendation to anyone.
Jason is a movie lover by day, janitor by night. He’s a random, 28-year-old father of two who enjoys all things cinematic. Writing is a passion of his, and he hopes to infuse a bit of his personality and opinions with Passport Cinema.
Read Chris Luedtke’s Seven Samurai review here.