20 August 2010

Rashômon (1950)


It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves.

So basically: After a man is found dead in the forest, the crime is brought to trial, where four people tell of its accounts, each contradicting the last. The bandit, the one accused of the crime, paints himself to be an honourable man, killing the husband of the woman he fell in love with to save her dignity. The woman, who was seen as fiery in the bandit's story, tells how she was so distraught after the ordeal, she passed out and accidentally murdered her husband. The dead man recounts the incident through a shaman, making his wife out to be the villain. The man who found the body later tells a priest and a traveller his version, claiming it to be the truth.

Finally! This is my favourite Akira Kurosawa film, and for great reasons. Of course, Kurosawa loves to explore the inner workings of mankind and what better way to show the wickedness - and the goodness - of our species than by exploiting our natural desire to lie. The film is a marvellous showcase for humanity, but even if you're not into "deep" movies (and believe you me, I'm not really into them, either) this is still a wonderful film. The story is interesting - you're constantly trying to decide who's version is the correct one - the characters are engaging and do not lack in personality, and Kurosawa's direction keeps the audience watching.

Definitely check this movie out for yourself - and it totes deserves to be on the list.

Ziggi seal of approval!

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