In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
Japanese warlord Hidetori Ichimonji decides the time has come to retire and divide his fiefdom among his three sons. His eldest and middle sons - Taro and Jiro - agree with his decision and promise to support him for his remaining days. The youngest son Saburo disagrees with all of them arguing that there is little likelihood the three brothers will remain united. Insulted by his son's brashness, the warlord banishes Saburo. As the warlord begins his retirement, he quickly realizes that his two eldest sons selfish and have no intention of keeping their promises. It leads to war and only banished Saburo can possibly save him. Written by
"Ran," generally translated from the Japanese, means "chaos" or "revolt." See more »
During the first scene (while the Land Lord and his sons are hunting wild boars) the first shot that shows every single wild boar running in front of the camera is probably a single shot of the same wild boar repeated 3 times. See more »
Men prefer sorrow over joy... suffering over peace!
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Ran takes viewers to a place they would rather not explore on their own. In
a world of cruelty, Kurasowa has shown how the moments within the horror can
Shakespeare wrote King Lear as a mirror on the human condition. We do not
have to be kings and princesses to identify with the father's desire for the
well being of his children, even if his own life was one of cruelty and
pain. We see this theme throughout great literature and film. What Ran has
done is to provide the viewer with many small moments within the pain to
realize the beauty.
Even the moment of epiphany for Hidetora, when his actions achieve his
madness, is one of surpassing beauty. As the storm rages outside the small
house of the prince he blinded, whose parents he killed, whose sister he
forcibly married off, the simple sounds of the flute provide an intense
focus on the here and now. It is at this moment when Hidetora recognizes
that he himself sowed the seeds of his own destruction. There is no
dialogue, no swashbuckling, just the terrible beauty of the
As with many of Kurasowa's films, despite their epic scope, it is the small
paint strokes that make up the master's canvas.
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