Seven Samurai (1954)

Sixty years after its release, this movie is still recognized as one of the most influential film in the history of cinema. Its universal and timeless story talks about fellowship, redemption, and fighting for what's right. No wonder Pixar used this as the basis for A Bug's Life.


Still as sharp as a katana to this day.

[do action=”play-by-play-spoilers”/]

[do action=”moment” emo=”Badass” title=”Kambei, Samurai #1.”/]

How do you make a character likeable? Let him save a baby! This man has nerves of steel!

[do action=”moment” emo=”Creepy” title=”Borderline incest alarm!”/]

It’s not explicitly stated, but I’m pretty sure Manzō lusts after his daughter. He spends a long time watching Shino as she washes her hair and, as he recovers his lucidity, realizes that the samurai warriors are coming. He’s afraid of losing her to one of them, so he forces her to cut her hair. Manzō’s character is one of those that you can’t like for the sole reason that he was made that way. With a greedy, egoistic and almost incestuous Manzō, you appreciate the other villagers a lot more than you normally would.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Interesting” title=”Kikuchiyo, rogue warrior.”/]

Toshiro Mifune’s character started off as a drunk crook but he’s turning out to be resourceful, and soon we can start to see the good guy in him. He also is the only one who dares to be harsh to the villagers who deserve it. Kurosawa might have created the character, but Mifune’s acting really gave it a soul. He is very complex when compared to the other characters.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Clever” title=”Choosing not to glorify evil.”/]

The scenes where you actually see the bandits are pretty scarce. Why? Because we don’t really need to see them. As the story unfolds we are shown the damages they have done to the villagers, which prevents wasting camera time on gratuitous acts of violence. This way, Kurosawa could also add more depth to the seven samurai and the villagers, since he only had to focus on them to build this epic tale.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Badass” title=”The elite swordsman.”/]

Kyūzō is one heck of a fighter. It’s as if we have a real samurai among people acting as samurai. He’s so swift on the screen! The guy is the definition of ‘silent and deadly.’ Who won’t admire him like Katsushirō does?

[do action=”moment” emo=”Sad” title=”I hate arrows so much at the moment.”/]

Damn, I didn’t want Yohei to die! The old man’s character was very important throughout the story. He portrayed in an effective manner how desperate the villagers were getting. He was also the comic material that gave Kikuchiyo a chance to be a sympathetic character. Yohei might have been a coward for years, but he lost his life courageously, fighting for his village and its inhabitants despite his old age.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Triumphant” title=”Born a peasant, died a hero.”/]

Kikuchiyo’s childhood was ruined by a similar gang of bandits, so he gets some sort of revenge as he kills the leader before dying from his gunshot wound. His death is dramatic even if he doesn’t have any final words for his comrades. In the end, he died a true warrior and is treated as an equal later on as he shares his grave with his fallen samurai allies. He gets the recognition he’s been looking for during his whole life. Nice!

[do action=”moment” emo=”Sad” title=”Katsushirō’s wrath.”/]

How can you avenge the one you admire when all the enemies have already been slain? Katsushirō will forever be haunted by Kyūzō’s death.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Sad” title=”A bittersweet victory.”/]

Kambei is right when he says that he lost once more. Only two of his men remain and one of them will be heartbroken for the rest of his life. The villagers don’t seem to acknowledge the scale of their sacrifice. The three samurai leave together as rōnin once again, walking towards an unknown destination and a nebulous fate.

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