Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai ★★★★★

An epic Samurai drama set in feudal Japan, Akira Kurowasa's Seven Samurai is a brilliant and heroic ode to Japanese history and a masterwork in directing. Following threats from bandits who want to come back to a small village to steal their crops, villagers venture out to hire seven Ronin to protect their homes and fields; a mix of skilled warriors, mediocre swordsman, one young trainee/disciple, and one crazy drunk who isn’t actually a real samurai. The film's hefty runtime is divided into three parts: the starving villagers trying to recruit mercenaries willing to fight for food, the training of the villagers and fortifying of the village whilst teaching them samurai way of bravery and unity and the climatic epic knock down drag'em out underdog battle in the grey rain and mud. and to absorb the audience in the world of the story. The film moves briskly and the 3 hour plus runtime never feels extessive or self indulgent. On the contrary, it provides space for friendship and camaraderie between characters and makes the depth of their bonds easy for us to understand as we watch them get to know one another–and as we learn to know them ourselves. The outstanding cast is lead by regular Kurosawa players Takashi Shimura as the charismatic wanderer past the prime of his life, searching for peace but still needing to fight and the great Toshiro Mufune as the aforementioned crazy drunk with a special connection to the villagers. Seven Samurai is an all time Quint-essential with it's memorable characters, great action sequences, and beautiful cinematography.

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