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Purchase Rashômon (1950) Movie Online and Download - Akira Kurosawa 🎥
Crime, Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Akira Kurosawa
Toshirô Mifune as Tajômaru
Machiko Kyô as Masako Kanazawa
Masayuki Mori as Takehiro Kanazawa
Takashi Shimura as Woodcutter
Minoru Chiaki as Priest
Kichijiro Ueda as Commoner
Fumiko Honma as Medium
Daisuke Katô as Policeman
Storyline: A priest, a woodcutter and another man are taking refuge from a rainstorm in the shell of a former gatehouse called Rashômon. The priest and the woodcutter are recounting the story of a murdered samurai whose body the woodcutter discovered three days earlier in a forest grove. Both were summoned to testify at the murder trial, the priest who ran into the samurai and his wife traveling through the forest just before the murder occurred. Three other people who testified at the trial are supposedly the only direct witnesses: a notorious bandit named Tajômaru, who allegedly murdered the samurai and raped his wife; the white veil cloaked wife of the samurai; and the samurai himself who testifies through the use of a medium. The three tell a similarly structured story - that Tajômaru kidnapped and bound the samurai so that he could rape the wife - but which ultimately contradict each other...
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about truth
a murder. a novel. a film. three characters. and web of lie.result - fragile, delicate, subtle, profound masterpiece. about an ordinary story of hate, love, appearances and beauty. about basic things in the nuances of rain and stories of few men. about fruit of death and force of life. not a moral lesson. but only a trip in the heart of feelings.the domination of gray. the slices of tale. the innocence of bonze. the extraordinary science of detail of Kurosawa. the splendid role of Mifune. all - parts of a beautiful meeting with special images and science of exploration of small facts. and the delicate wind of final part is really touching. because truth is more than convention. it is form of faith. and light behind a long rain front of an old temple.
What happened is what people will believe
Rashomon is the story of a heinous crime told through the views of different characters that were involved with it.

A few years ago a buddy of mine told me about a movie that I had to see. This movie that he was talking about was Seven Samurai. I usually took his word in such situations but when he gave me the DVD and I saw that it was an old black & white Japanese movie I never made an effort to watch it. After watching Rashomon, by Akira Kurosawa – same director as Seven Samurai, I must say that I'm intrigued to see his other work now.

Not only is his directing and scenery like what we are use to seeing in movies today, he is the pioneer of this. His camera angles and lighting are amazing. I like the way that he shows the sun through the trees as the woodcutter is walking through the woods and also as the camera follows the bandit and Samurai. Also, I must say that I am a fan of the way he incorporated the rain as a mood throughout the movie.

Another quality thing about this movie was the characters. I would say really good job on the actors' parts, although the bandit's laughing annoyed me. I really like the way the Samurai's story was told through a medium. The scene was dark and scary; an element I didn't know could be used so well in older movies such as this one.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this movie. Although, just as all movies, its not one that everyone will like. I would say fans of film, movie buffs, and fans of Japanese work would love this. Hats off to Kurosawa, I pay close attention to the way that films are directed and edited because it is one of my favorite elements of a movie, and he did a fantastic job. The actors also deserve credit for this film also, because they did a wonderful job making these characters believable and interesting. I definitely plan on checking out other work by Kurosawa after seeing this movie.
Dirty degradation away from mysticism
Rashomon is one of those movies that at first seems to have a lot of peculiarities, but upon further viewing makes more and more sense. It doesn't need multiple viewings in order to be appreciated, though... it's impact is pretty immediate. It's just that some of the things that seem more odd about it are much more lasting than one would think.

The story is about four people who are involved in a rape, a murder, and a theft in the woods, and how each tells the story of the events with a different stress in order to make themselves look better. What is clear is this: a woman was taken in front of her husband by a bandit. The husband was killed. His sword was taken by the bandit and the woman's dagger somehow disappeared. With those elements, a cynical outside observer hears the stories of each character and eventually comes to the conclusion he has from the beginning: that people are selfish and self-interested, and that good no longer exists in the world.

The woman's, bandit's, and witness's stories are more easily accepted, but what do we do with the presence of the dead husband's ghost and his story, especially when the priest points out that "dead men don't lie"? Akira Kurosawa often puts metaphysical beings into the story with the same matter-of-fact quality as he does any other character, and to a cynical observer's eye, this could be considered a distraction. However, just the ghost helps illustrate just how far Japanese society has degraded away from classic values. Just as the listener of the tales tears apart Rashomon temple as the movie progresses for the selfish need of firewood, the ghost no longer is held to the same amount of abstractly definite authority. The presence of the priest and his clenched grip around his faith in humanity helps create a dialog about how removed people have become from abstract concepts of good and evil. The ghost, the priest, and the temple are all a very important part of the story, the same way the outsider's anecdote, "They say the demon who resided here fled rather than be met with the evil of human beings" has dire importance to the interplay of relationships in this film.

Kurosawa's skill is not just in dialog and relationships, his visual acuity helps accentuate these themes as well. When the story begins, the woods is magical, even colorful (despite the black and white photography). It is a woods of fairy tale, with magical breezes and quiet streams. As the movie progresses, the woods lose more and more of their mystical quality and become dirty and dry. By the time the battle between the husband and the bandit is played out in its final representation, it is no longer a valiant battle of skill against two well-versed opponents, its a stressful, scary affair that has the two kicking up more dust than swinging their swords. The dust itself shows the degradation of the story away from the abstract qualities of truth and justice to a much more dirty, ugly reality as promoted by the outsider.

I don't think Akira Kurosawa necessarily holds the theme of this movie as utter truth, especially considering the hopeful ending, but it does seem as if this movie came during a very cynical time during Kurosawa's life. Many discuss it as a post-war film, which isn't a bad guess. But even without it's affinity to the post-war world of Japan at the time, it somehow has a profound effect on viewers even today.

Rain and shine
This is a remarkable film, an exercise in straightforward storytelling that nonetheless remains elliptical at its conclusion. The dense symbolism of the film is in evidence form the first frame, with two Godot-like figures sheltering from a rainstorm in the ruin of a traditional Japanese building. A third, hobo-fool character passes through and gets them to discuss their preoccupation. It's nothing to do with the building or the weather though - their fettered speech is because they have heard four different versions of the same awful crime.

All four accounts get played out in flashback, interspersed with tableaux from the court which hears them (we, the audience, sit as police). The accounts are melodramatic, often rather funny (largely through Toshirô Mifune's manic laughter as the bandit Tajômaru). The stories and their staging occur in bright sunlight and its concomitant, high-contrast shadow, which becomes a dappled net of light and shade in the grove of the crime. Disturbingly the accounts all contradict each other; crucially this contradiction is shifts the blame-apportion but barely changing the outcome. Instead, the tragedy transfers to those in the present who cannot grip the perspective of dishonesty and tragedy, or what it means.

I see Rashomon as a fresh-minted parable, old period & characters narrating and acting out a story for modern, hurting Japan, which was emerging from the trauma of post-war shame and suffering. The conclusion is complex, but not ambivalent: the woodcutter, though stripped of confidence, reason and moral relativity retains an irreducible grip on his humanity, enough to carry the future of Japan out into the new sun. 7/10
A pensive tale of seeking out elusive objectivity
"Rashomon" was one of Akira Kurosawa's masterpieces, as the film features an ingenious narrative structure, excellent acting and a musing exploration into the fine line that separates perception from reality. The story of a barbaric crime and its aftermath is recounted from 4 contradictory viewpoints and we are given the gruesome details of each one.

"Rashomon" is a beautiful piece of art for so many reasons. In a way, it plays out almost like more of a parable than a film. When asked about "Rashomon", Kurosawa once said, "One of the technique of modern art is simplification, and that I must therefore simplify this film." The plot itself is fairly straightforward and we are not left in a major state of ambiguity by film's end. However, this is a film that, like its enigmatic characters, seeks an ulterior motive. Aside from merely providing us with guidance on how to properly conduct ourselves, it frequently uses metaphorical language which helps to elucidate the more complex ideas. "Rashomon" is didactic in its search, not discovery, of moral and spiritual answers.

And that word "search" is very important to the ultimate meaning of "Rashomon". This film does not seek to provide some revelation of truth to negate the varying perceptions, but rather to delve deeper into the human psyche by calling attention to the disparity between how we as humans think and rationalize.

It is near impossible to adequately praise Kurosawa for what he created with "Rashomon". The astonishing cinematography and use of "dappled" light perfectly captures the eerie, shadowy feel of the atmosphere. All of the actors (Mifune, Mori) bring a gripping realism to their characters. The dialogue is intelligent and introspective, particularly with its constant reflection of existential questions. What truly set this film apart is that, to a certain degree, every line uttered seems to reveal some level of humanity. There is no superfluous detail I can recall that needn't be said nor presented throughout.

One aspect of the film I found particularly interesting is how Rashomon chose to supplant the presence of a judge (to whom each person is recounting their story to) for silence, with each individual stating, then proceeding to answer, the question supposedly being asked to them. This technique demands that we be the one to deliberate over their conflicting stories. It is up to us decide for ourselves "What do we believe?" or, for some, "What do we WANT to believe?" It seems that Kurosawa is trying to convey the idea that, in the end, there is no one right answer - truth is, in itself, a matter of subjectivity. With "Rashomon", Kurosawa offers us a powerful and masterful piece of film-making that really makes you question the human condition.
In a Grove where the Rashomon lies
Earlier this evening, I had the great pleasure to watch Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece "Rashomon." A disturbing film examining the nature of truth and the human ego, "Rashomon" arrives at a conclusion that there still are good people out there, even if deception and lies are about to become the norm. (To this end, "Rashomon" might just be the most realistic character study ever made.) Based on the short stories "In a Grove" and "Rashomon" by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Kurosawa's picture is set in the aftermath of a heinous and brutal crime: a samurai has been murdered, and his wife raped. Three people, including the alleged murderer and the dead samurai (through a medium), give varying, conflicting accounts of the crime, thus leaving it up to us, the viewers, to decipher these characters and their motives for deceiving. I am currently majoring in criminal justice in college and if I were to ever become a professor, I would certainly make "Rashomon" required viewing, and Akutagawa's book a required text. Never has conflict been so daringly portrayed on film, especially when viewed as the aftermath of a violent crime. Even after listening to the testimonies, you sort of become disillusioned that you're unsure of what really happened, and maybe that's Kurosawa and Akutagawa's point. What is certain, what is the truth, is that "Rashomon" is a classic of cinema, made by one of the greats to ever pick up a camera and shoot into a grove.

These stories we tell each other
Based on a short story by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Rashomon is one of Akira Kurosawa's biggest films and the breakthrough film that brought him and Japanese cinema in general to Western audiences. A tale about a murder and the various lies we tell each other to make sense of our existence.

The film is about a murder trial. A nefarious bandit, Tajômaru (Toshirô Mifune), is accused of murdering a travelling samurai in front of his wife. We hear four different versions of the events that took place. One from each of the three and one from a bystander. Each tale differs from one another and in the end it's left for the viewer to decide who to believe.

Rashomon is a clever tale and full of depths, but it also shows that Kurosawa was still travelling towards his prime. The acting is a bit overplayed in certain scenes. Mifune especially overacts constantly, which in some ways fits the character, but is still a bit jarring. The score is also surprisingly distracting. That being said, the camera-work is beautiful, the storytelling works very well and even the framing story about people hiding from the rain and talking about the trial is not as bad as it could be.

And it's simply a fascinating story on thematic level. It's made clear very early that all the witnesses lie to make themselves look better. They all try to shift the blame, to make their own accord seem dignified or born out of necessity. Even the final story by the bystander has undercurrents that make it seem not as objective as it should. So who to believe?

In the end the film provides no answers. Rather it asks us to wonder how common this sort of behaviour is in everyday life. Do we shape our subjective realities by telling stories? And if we do so, do we also allow the stories of others to have an affect on what we believe to be true, to be reality?

It's up to you to decide. But first you have to ask the question in the first place.
Very interesting - but a top 50 movie?
I always divide "classic movies" in two groups. There's the TRUE classic movie, one that tells a timeless story executed flawlessly; and then we have the so-called film academy classic, usually a movie that is a landmark in cinema history for introducing a fresh technique to the filmmaker's tool set. The really old films from this second group always receive overly generous grades on IMDb because they are too obscure to be watched by anybody but film students, whose opinion is clouded by their focus on history and technique.

Case in point - "Rashomon". Even though the underlying idea is indeed timeless, this Kurosawa classic is clearly in the second group. It's over-the-top acting, rudimentary dialogue, static scenery, sexist characters and tedious pacing make it feel VERY dated. However - the execution of the story is as genius as it is original, and I would recommend this movie to anybody who is interested in screen writing techniques.

Compare this to "Casablanca", for example - a classic made around the same time. "Casablanca" is perfectly suited for modern viewers. "Rashomon" is not.
Top notch!
You just need to watch Rashomon to understand why Akira Kurosawa is considered one of the finest directors in world cinema. For most of the viewers, it is an unsolved crime told in an interesting yet different fashion, and he/she can try to arrange the puzzles to form a solution. For movie freaks, it is much more than that; in addition to being a fine work of art, it conveys beautifully a simple message through a complex movie.

One can easily gather from the movie, that the main idea conveyed was that there is no absolute truth. We see 4 different people narrating a story, in completely different ways. While each of them tells their version of the story, the idea expressed is simply how much one's perspective can distort reality. Or in the deeper sense, that there is no absolute reality. Reality is relative. We could relate it to the story of the blind men and an elephant, where 6 different blind men touch different parts of an elephant and each of them assume, interpret and argue that elephant looks like the part they touched.

Now, probably to what was mainly conveyed through the movie - the rationale behind the different stories. None of them were lying to protect themselves, as one can notice from the bandit's and the lady's story, they say they might have killed the samurai. Obviously, protection from law is not what mattered. In the bandit's story, he glorified himself; he portrayed himself as a brave and a great warrior, who easily lures the lady. In the lady's story, she portrayed herself as a helpless victim, trying to stand in dignity. In the samurai's version, he was portrayed as being noble, brave, and the best thing he could do was committing suicide. In the woodcutter's version, he is portraying each of the 3 characters equally culpable, which makes his act of stealing the dagger a trivial one. Even though, we tend to go with the woodcutter's story because he is a neutral person, we cannot believe his as well, as he was the only person who admitted that he was lying (earlier).

In each of the version, we see that the person is glorifying themselves. It is not protection from law that mattered, but protecting one's own ego. In every one's story, we see the story-teller polishing his character so as to suit his ego. It portrays the insecurity in humans, the fact that no humans can survive without lying to themselves and creating a make-belief world where they seem to be a better person than they actually are. A simple message that no human is completely honest with himself! Other than the message conveyed in the movie, the way in which the movie unfolds, the way the characters are molded, the way the 3 characters differ in the different versions, the acting, the sensuality of the woman, all plays a great role in shaping the movie into a masterpiece. For instance, the initial scene in which the woodcutter walks through the forest till he finds the dead body is breathtaking. We walk with him, and when he stands still seeing the body, we also freeze. Even such a trivial scene, shot with amazing beauty and intelligence, is what makes Kurosawa one among the best! Usually, when a movie ends without a climax, or when no solutions are provided to the crime, I end up a bit frustrated (exception being Nolan's inception). Have to admit though, this one left me fascinated!
The best movie Kurosawa ever directed
Rashomon is based on two short tales by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Rashomon and In a Grove, and easily surpasses its source material. This movie introduced Japanese cinema to the West back in 1950 and pretty much launched Kurosawa's international career.

The main innovation Rashomon introduced in the film world is portraying the same story over and over, in four ways it was perceived by multiple characters. This was ground breaking back in the day when films usually carried a straight-forward storyline. We're never told the correct way the events unfolded and are left with our imagination on what actually happened in the grove. The characters twist the story depending on their class or honour. For example, the sword fight between the bandit and the samurai is seen as an epic, polished battle through the eyes of the bandit, but also as a life-or-death struggle between two desperate men in the eyes of the woodcutter. The characters retell their testimonies to the camera, making it appear like the audience itself is the judge.

The music is great and very fitting. A lot of people are put off by the version of Bolero played during the wife's story, but I think it fits wonderfully and is the best version of Bolero I've ever heard.

The cinematography also deserves a mention. Characters' motives and actions in the film aren't painted in a black and white manner and the visuals reflect this, showing them covered with the shadows of the forest, by the sun seen through the trees, which is, like the truth, partially obscured (by the way, despite the popular opinion, this wasn't the first film to point the camera at the sun, Kurosawa did it earlier in his Stray Dog). There's a heavy downpour throughout most of the film and adds to the bleak atmosphere of the scenes at the gate. In the end, when hope for humanity is found, the sun finally appears and shines through.

The performances are notably over-the-top but that's what makes them memorable, be it Noriko Honma's performance as the creepy medium, Toshirô Mifune as the maniacal bandit (Kurosawa had him act like a lion for a full effect), or Machiko Kyô as the samurai's wife (who also had a great main act as lady Wakasa in Mizoguchi's Ugetsu, another film which popularized Japanese cinema outside the country itself).
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