Rashomon. Film Review

DIRECTOR: Akira Kurosawa
SCREENPLAY: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto
STARRING: Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo, Masyuki Mori, Takashi Shimura
FORMAT: Blu-ray

We see what we want to see. Opinion is subjective. The same event, witnessed by multiple spectators, will be perceived differently by each. Rashomon, a movie that deals with exactly that is, rather perfectly, an exception, in that few could see it as anything other than a masterpiece.

Trapped in the rain, a woodcutter and a priest tell a passing commoner about a murder trial in which they’ve just been involved. Conflicting eyewitness reports – one, chillingly from the murder victim himself, thanks to the services of a medium – weave a narrative where truth is hard to find.

Beautiful, eerie and utterly ground-breaking in its day, Rashomon has been restored by the BFI for blu-ray release so that it can be appreciated afresh. Extras include a commentary from Kurosawa expert Stuart Galbraith IV, who also helms a documentary looking at the Kyoto locations used for the film. Director, John Boorman, clearly uncomfortable on the wrong end of the camera lens, discusses the influence of the movie and the package is rounded off by one of the BFI’s usual, essay-filled booklets.