Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai ★★★★½

Currently #26 on my Top 100 Favorite Films

What can I say about this film that hasn't already been said?

Well, to refrain from adding my voice to the broken record of praise this film has received, I'll try to keep it brief.

Seven Samurai is iconic, and important. You can tell that just from glancing at the screen. The cinematography, the plot, the execution - it's obviously influential to it's many spin-offs, and the samurai sub-genre in general. The production values are excellent, especially for a film made in the 1950s. The plot is simple, and entertaining creating a 3 hour and 30 minute movie that's never boring. The black-and-white cinematography is eloquent and excellent, looking especially fine on Criterion blu-ray. The performances from the Samurai (Toshio Mifune specifically) are very good, creating some memorable protagonists. Their depth of emotion is excellent, and you really become attached to these characters over the film's run time. It's all put together excellently, and the battle scenes are amazing. Most of the film is nothing short of fantastic.

My only major beef with Seven Samurai comes from the actors that aren't portraying samurai. They're way over-the-top. I've seen plenty of other Japanese films from the same era, and still the villagers seem too over-dramatic. The beginning scene, where the villagers are meeting to discuss their plan of action is almost cringe-worthy. Then again, the acting style was different back then, so I can't complain too much.

Seven Samurai is important, excellent, and deserves every ounce of praise it has received over the years. It's Kurosawa's best film, and possibly the best samurai film ever. A true showcase in excellence.

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