|Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Drama, Murder, Suspense, Period Piece, Ghosts, Experimental, Psychic, Investigation, Outlaws, Courtroom|
Plot: Akira Kurosawa's highly acclaimed film, set in feudal Japan, presents an intriguing tale of violent crime in the woods, told from the perspective of four different characters--a bandit (Toshirô Mifune), a woman (Machiko Kyô), her husband (Masayuki Mori), and a woodcutter (Takashi Shimura). Only two things about the incident seem to be clear--the woman was raped and her husband is now dead. However, the other elements radically differ as the four participants and/or witnesses relate their own stories (with the dead man, eerily enough, speaking through a medium). As each account is revealed, what seemed black and white turns to various hues of gray, leading to surprising--and confounding--relevations.
A landmark of international cinema, RASHOMON won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1951, bringing both Kurosawa--and Japanese film in general--to the attention of Western audiences. From the rain-soaked opening sequence to its moving conclusion, the film is a stunning examination of truth and human nature. The entire cast is pitch-perfect, with regular Kurosawa lead actors Mifune and Shimura giving typically outstanding performances. While critics and cinephiles debate over exactly how many masterpieces Kurosawa directed, RASHOMON stands as one of the
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