Roman Arbisi’s review published on Letterboxd:
The film I was scared to watch the most.
My journey with film truly began just over five years ago in June of 2013. Over the course of the next few years I began to familiarize myself with more “out of the box” films I wasn’t used to seeing. Within the last two years my horizons have expanded further than I could have envisioned in such a small amount of time. Foreign films were always the most challenging because of nearly two decades of American made cinema being etched into my brain. I always knew of Akira Kurosawa, but I didn’t know Akira Kurosawa like I do now.
Rashomon was the first AK film I had seen due to it’s sweet run-time and influence it had made on many films I’ve already seen. Recently I had seen his Macbeth adaptation with Throne of Blood, but sitting atop of his filmography was his most beloved and influential work yet, Seven Samurai. A two word, five syllable behemoth that titled the 207 minute masterpiece that loomed over me like the grim reaper roaming a graveyard. Thankfully, without any hesitation, the grim reaper I thought was there was secretly a fountain of reinvigoration for cinema.
Purchased for 26 U.S. Dollars, I obtained the Criterion of Seven of Samurai and it was better than I ever imagined. The aspect ratio magnifies the beauty, brotherhood, and bond between samurai and villager with the utmost precision. The use of foreground, middle ground, and background plays a huge role in the immersion of this simple story. That’s the key word, simple.
Many films we see today boast hefty run-times but jam pack them full of convoluted plotting and half-baked ideas. Seven Samurai hits a hole-in-one on a Par five. Showcasing the greatness that simplicity has to offer and simultaneously blowing your mind in the process. It’s funny, heart-warming, gut-wrenching, beautifully acted, and heroically epic. It’s the ultimate tale of leadership and the losses and gains confronted in one’s personal standing amidst an impending war.
An unprecedented masterpiece of world class film-making from one of the greatest visionaries to ever be birthed onto this planet.
Defense wins championships and Akira hoists the trophy with his teammates right alongside him.