Rashomon ★★★★½

9.5/10

Kurosawa you dog. This is one that I struggle rating and reviewing because it's not fair. If you view it in the context of 1950, this is the fucking shit. This is THE movie, nothing should be this clever, this dynamic, this exhilarating, especially when there's (practically) no action. But alas, I had to view this in 2017, and since then, we've seen this movie be ripped off, in many different ways. Not the story, but the ideas. Multiple perspectives recounting the same events, the thin line between right and wrong, how perception defines everything, etc. These are all concepts I enjoy very much as well. But... It is dated, simply so. I don't think all of Kurosawa's films I've seen feel this way either, actually none of them do to me. High and Low, Ikiru, Seven Samurai, all masterworks that will probably stand the test of time... But this one. I don't think will. It's OVERLY dramatic, the dialogue is rough, I don't think it had a good emotional core, and some of the direction is questionable, somehow this short film feels like 10 or 15 minutes could have been shaven off. But these are nitpicks, because it is awesome. The story is what keeps this film so high of a rating still. It's purely original, and it tells a story in such a unique way, that it is interesting and captivating, and I definitely was itching to know what would happen next.

I think what holds it back, to tie this all together, is the fact I probably will never watch this again. Whereas all his other movies, I can't WAIT until I watch them again. I think everyone should see this, but I also think you get it all on one viewing.

Great movie, fuck. I focus on negatives too much.

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