This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Waverly’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
What a ride, what a ride. The Hidden fortress takes every element of adventure and throws it into a blender. Each character represents different elements: Rokurota as loyalty, Tadokoro as inner conflict, Matashichi and Tadokoro create overwhelming comedy, and Princess Yuki is an immense presence of control and enjoyment.
One of the coolest parts about watching The Hidden Fortress is waiting to see how characters reveal parts about themselves. It never takes too much time focusing on how everyone should feel about specific characters, instead it develops those characters as the Akizuki clan continues to struggle on their way back to sustain themselves.
One of the best parts of the film in my opinion was the duel between Rokurota and Tadokoro. The introduction of two friends, but not in a hugs and kisses type of way. The battle takes a serious chunk of time, but it isn't constantly trying to rush into the audience's face. Patience is key, just as it would be in this duel.
The film also looks great, many shots such as Yuki climbing the mountain after the death of Rokurota's sister are very specific to the time period of film but I wouldn't change them. Not to mention the scenes that are filled to the brim with things happening on screen such as the revolt earlier in the film.
This was my first Kurosawa film, but after enjoying this one so much it won't be my last.