“Seven Samurai” is a film by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It’s influence has been felt in a variety of levels in cinema from the western remake “The Magnificent Seven,” to the classic recruiting scenes which have become commonplace in many different kinds of movies. Clocking in at well over three hours in the most complete version, does this movie deserve the numerous accolades?
Should this film be considered a classic? This one gets an all caps, “YES!” I had never seen any parts of this movie before I sat down to watch it in order to write this review. I found myself pulled into the story from the opening scenes. Kurosawa weaves a wonderful story with great characters in the form of both the samurai and the peasants. The characters are complex with some samurai and peasants having many layers of past traumas and events which play out on the screen. The cast is also marvelously diverse and spends time showing how the story effects everyone from infants to the ancient village elder. The length of the film allows for a good deal of character development and shows the strengths and weaknesses of the samurai and peasants and also allows us to see some of the deeper motivations behind the characters. Not only is the cast and story excellent, but the sets and costumes are truly stunning. This movie will draw you in and sweep you away to another culture and time.
Would I own this film? Most definitely! It is on my Amazon wishlist and I hope to pick up the Criterion Blu-Ray soon. This is a film that is firing on all cylinders and should be on the shelf of anyone who enjoys great cinema. If you have not seen this one you need to find a copy of it as soon as possible. This is film at its finest.