Naughty aka Juli Norwood’s review published on Letterboxd:
While director Akira Kurosawa's timeless masterpiece clocks in at nearly 3 1/2 hours long it zipped by so fast I couldn't believe it! It was so well done I wished it had been longer!
The story is about a great Samurai warrior who now faces a time of peace where Samurai are deemed a useless commodity! Masterless they struggle to find a place in this new world!
One such Samurai Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura) is sought out by farmers whom wish to hire Samurai to fend off an attack by bandits! But they can only offer rice as pay! The Samurai scoffs as he see's no honor, reward, rank or glory to be had from such a fruitless venture! But wisdom prevails when he discovers rice is worth its weight in gold for these impoverished peasants and accepts the offer! He must now persuade 6 more Samurai to join him in his quest!
Your attention always gravitates towards Takashi Shimura as he has such a commanding presence! On the other hand we have a young, abrasive, brute of a wannabe Samurai Kikuchiyo played by Toshirô Mifune who often steals the show with his antics! The Samurai allow him to follow them as they were short a Samurai and I suspect they found great pleasure in treating him like a buffoon as it gave them a false sense of superiority!
As it turns out he proves to be an asset and at one point in the film he manages to teach the Samurai their greatest lesson in life "Humility!"
The war strategies implemented in the film were extraordinary! The battles themselves were exhilarating! The strength of the direction, script, acting earned this film the position of favorite Akira Kurosawa film!