Ran (1985)

This loose re-telling of King Lear by Akira Kurosawa is a lengthy but gorgeous portrayal. Instead of daughters, they are sons who tear each other apart to take the throne.

The beautiful scenery is stunning on screen (thank you Netflix for  the Blu-ray!) and no one else but Kurosawa could make war look so terribly beautiful. The three armies are denoted by primary colors (yellow to the eldest, red to the second son and blue to the Cordelia son) and they pierce through the battle-desolated land. The kimonos and yukatas are all beautifully bright and highly detailed.

The performances are all spot-on – Hidetora (the Lear character, played by Tatsuya Nakadai) was an excellent fool (and those eyebrows are something to behold!)

The eyebrows!

I particularly liked the performance of Kaede (Mieko Harada) – the wife of the eldest brother – who wants revenge on the Ichimonji family who had ruined her life and killed her family. She started out cold and unassuming but became a force to be reckoned with, as the second son came to find out.

She's a bunny boiler!

So much happens in this film and it is hard to talk about how wonderful it actually is. It is completely worth seeing and it is very enjoyable. I loved it.