Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai ★★★★½

It took me a while to get through this one as it's quite long, and I've been busy over the past couple of days, so I kind of watched it in chunks. Seems it was one of the first films I added to my watchlist, but it's taken me a while to actually see it, partially because of that running time, which I find quite daunting.

Still, this is the kind of film that requires 3 hours of your time, and there's little that could be cut here without harming the story. It's quite a slow film and it takes it's time methodically going through the story, introducing the villagers and their plight, and then bringing in the samurai who prepare to defend the village.

It was well worth the money Kurosawa had to spend to actually recreate the whole village, as it adds much to the authenticity of the story, and the place has a lived in feel, rather then just using a backlot or some kind of set.

Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune, Kurosawa's two most frequent collaborators both fit in well here as the learned samurai leader, and the bad-shit crazy wannabe samurai respectively. I was surprised by the amount of humour in the film, especially stemming from Mifune's attempts to deal with a particularly troublesome horse.

All of it leads to the final battle, which despite being around an hour long, never feels monotonous as battle scenes of that length are wont to do. I'm glad I finally got around to seeing it, as it's a must for anyone interested in Kurosawa and world cinema in general.