Tuesday 30 September 2008

Seven Samurai (Shichinin No Samurai) [1954]

Arguably one of Akira Kurosawa’s grandest ventures, Seven Samurai is a landmark movie of such epic proportions that most viewers would be left overwhelmed by its sheer force. Set in the feudal, war-torn society of erstwhile Japan, the movie is perhaps the epitome of honour, bravery, duty, friendship, loyalty and the art of war through strategy and cunning. At over 3 hours long, viewing the movie might appear daunting to viewers accustomed to watching sub-2 hour long films, but one can rest assured that “bored” is one word that no one in their right senses would associate with any of the sequences filmed herein. The legendary tale of seven samurai, hired by the people of a poor terror-stricken village, to fight against a group of 40 bandits, is just one aspect of the movie; the detailed etching of each of the seven samurai with all their traits, skills and idiosyncrasies, the exquisitely composed battle scenes, the human story of love, prejudice, suffering, self-centeredness, struggle, vindication and the greater glory, the lyrical beauty of humanism and service above self, the detailed team-formation and strategizing of battle plan (and its near-clinical execution), and of course the splendid performance by the actors – these are but a few of the features that would be forever engrained in the minds of every cine-goer and film-lover. The movie was remade in America as The Seven Magnificent Men, that, though entertaining, never achieved the awesome beauty of this Kurosawa masterpiece. It was also the chief inspiration behind the majestic Hindi movie Sholay.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Genre: Drama/Adventure/Samurai Film/Action/Ensemble Film
Language: Japanese
Country: Japan


Anonymous said...

Endlessly remade epic never once feels dated does it?

Shubhajit said...

Absolutely not. Rarely do we get movies wich stay as fresh and effective as ever.