02 January 2011

Shichinin no Samurai (1954)


Don't you see? A real sword will kill you.
So basically: A samurai is employed by a town who is under attack by bandits. To make matters worse, they don’t have much and can only offer him three meals a day. This out of luck samurai agrees to their terms and must hire six other samurai to defend the town. The story chronicles their struggles to defeat the bandits and protect the small town.

I’ve already proclaimed my love for Akira Kurosawa, but I don’t like this film. And it entirely rests on my not-so-much love of epics. At over 3 hours long and focusing on a narrow cast of characters, this is exactly what an epic should be! And probably one of the better ones. But, I just can’t get into it. The characters are all pretty awesome and I felt a connection with some of them, but it wasn’t enough for me. The story wasn’t there, at least not for a wider audience, which is what I think it needed. If Kurosawa would have condensed it I think it would have made an awesome film – see Yojimbo and Rashômon, which are both shorter and epic-er!

I’m sorry, but I don’t get the appeal of this film. It was in the hands of a talented director and the characters were there to accompany a good story, but it just wasn’t there!

Ziggi seal of disapproval!

1 comment:

  1. i don't feel you are equipped with the objectivity to write these reviews. this film is a masterpiece. heck hollywood remade it as the magnificent seven. it was pretty much the catalyst for all action movies in existence today.

    IMDB films are not judged solely on their modern entertainment value, some are in there because they changed the way we look at film. 7 samurai definitely did that, and it's also an excellent film that stands on its own merit. remember, this was post-war japan, not mcdonalds & cocaine america.