Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai ★★★★★

One of the most masterful uses of film I have ever seen. I had forgotten how the film in actuality is much more minimalistic than imagined, which makes every scene essential to the overarching plot and themes of this work of art. The groundbreaking, visceral, and exquisitely choreographed battle sequences are in perfect harmony with a humanism that rivals that of Ray and Renoir. The acting, especially from Shimura and Mifune, is unrestrained yet never over-the-top. Though they are, in a sense, archetypes, they always feel fully fleshed out as real humans, aided in no small part by the matter-of-fact yet wonderful script. Above all, Kurosawa's astonishing direction uses perfect composition of movement, juggles all of the characters and gives them equal weight with ease, and makes the over 3 hour film seem to float by while clearly communicating the themes of camaraderie, courage, hope, and humanism. Truly one of the greatest.

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