{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}

Monday, January 31, 2005


Rashomon is story telling at its best. These 90 minutes unfold wonderfully and leave you wondering of what you have seen. How can there be a better way to suggest the truth is never absolute, we add our perspective to it, intentionally or otherwise. There is also an underlying tale of 'faith in humanity' which is so well intertwined with the narrative that sometimes it overpowers the narrative. Apart from it, Rashomon is an example of cinema that is not going to spoon-fed you or take sides or create bias. All the ends here are so beautifully 'loose' that you can feel associated with any of the four perspectives. And there is a extra curve to each tale, that is narrator's self-image and his/her image of others. There are essentially as many characters as the tales. All this is done to the incident that is so simple that it looks like a fable. Its my first Kurosawa movie, and I am under his spell already.

Rashomon is essentially repetitive as the 'same' tale is told four times, but you never get bored of seeing it again and again. The narrative is that strong and the performances are top notch. The performances by the bandit, the young woman and her husband stand out as three main characters of the story told. Also the addition perspective of woodcutter gives movie 'the fourth dimension'.

One interesting thing to note here is that you feel that they are same characters yet subtly different. You can see shades of helplessness, treachery, selfishness, loyalty in the same woman but she remains the 'same' woman.

One more thought which came to my mind while watching, it can be a silent movie. Sometimes you miss the subtitles and you loose nothing. We can give the credit to performances, imageries but at times you feel dialogues are superfluous.

Here is a 'dense' movie that has strong currents of morality, faith, self-image that flow underneath the plot that make it not only interesting but also fulfilling.


Zero said...

where can i get the movie rashomon??
dying to see....

anurag said...

If you are in Hyderabad, Bangalore or Chennai, you can get it from a DVD rental shop called 'Cinema Paradiso'. You need to take its membership to rent a DVD.

Bangalore also has one more shop called 'Habitat'

Swathi said...

i've been making multiple runs to Cinema Paradiso the entire last week and still Rashomon seems to be out always.

anurag said...

In Hyderabad's Cinema Paradiso, some of the stupid ppl have rented movies and have never returned back, Brain De Palma's Femme Fatale and Gus Van Sant's Elephant are few of the victims. Only the covers are showcased. I hope Rashomon is saved :)