🎦 Rashomon full movie HD download (Akira Kurosawa) - Crime, Drama, Mystery. 🎬
Crime, Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Akira Kurosawa
Toshirô Mifune as Tajômaru
Machiko Kyô as Masako Kanazawa
Masayuki Mori as Takehiro Kanazawa
Takashi Shimura as Woodcutter
Minoru Chiaki as Priest
Kichijiro Ueda as Commoner
Fumiko Honma as Medium
Daisuke Katô as Policeman
Storyline: A priest, a woodcutter and another man are taking refuge from a rainstorm in the shell of a former gatehouse called Rashômon. The priest and the woodcutter are recounting the story of a murdered samurai whose body the woodcutter discovered three days earlier in a forest grove. Both were summoned to testify at the murder trial, the priest who ran into the samurai and his wife traveling through the forest just before the murder occurred. Three other people who testified at the trial are supposedly the only direct witnesses: a notorious bandit named Tajômaru, who allegedly murdered the samurai and raped his wife; the white veil cloaked wife of the samurai; and the samurai himself who testifies through the use of a medium. The three tell a similarly structured story - that Tajômaru kidnapped and bound the samurai so that he could rape the wife - but which ultimately contradict each other, the motivations and the actual killing being what differ. The woodcutter reveals at Rashômon that he ...
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The more I watch and re-watch Kurosawa's films, the more I am sure that he will be remembered as the greatest director of the 20th century. Although I prefer "Ran" and "The Seven Samurai" for reasons of personal taste, I don't think I would argue very much with anyone who proposed that "Rashomon" was his best film. Made in 1950, it is so unusual and so far ahead of it's time that it takes your breath away.

The story itself deserves a mention: A husband & wife travelling through woods are attacked by a thief, who ties up the husband and rapes the wife. This is as much of the story as we can be sure of. The husband ends up dead of a stab wound. How did he die? Who was responsible? Each of the three give their accounts before a court (the dead husband through a medium!), and each account is entirely different. A woodcutter who witnessed the events gives a fourth, entirely different, account.

Each flashback is an absolute gem in itself, and lives long in the mind. Toshiro Mifune as the thief exudes more raw masculinity and charisma that I think I have ever seen in ANY movie, and creates a totally believeable character. Machiko Kyo as the wife is superb in what are essentially four different roles, her own version being the highlight. The husband's character is the least well developed, but since he spends a lot of the time either tied up or dead, that's not really surprising.

Because the viewer knows that each flashback is highly personal to the teller, a vast amount of brainpower and concentration are required if you are going to try to work out what actually DID happen. Alternatively, watch the film twice back-to-back, once for the visuals and acting, and once for the detective work and philosophical implications.

My favourite shot in the movie is one which starts with the husband and wife kneeling, facing each other, a view of the wife over the shoulder of the husband; the camera then moves round to the side and simultaneously zooms in on the wife's profile; then pulls back behind the wife, ending with a view of the husband's face over the shoulder of the wife - a mirror image of the initial shot in the sequence. Absolutely awesome! And dating from 1950! Unbelievable!

I normally try to keep my reviews a LOT shorter than this, but I make no apologies in this case. Indeed, there are lots of other points I would like to make (I haven't even mentioned the central importance of the dagger, or the relevance of the Rashomon gate itself). I could go on and on and on... however, a better use of your time would be to seek out and watch this film...NOW!
These stories we tell each other
Based on a short story by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Rashomon is one of Akira Kurosawa's biggest films and the breakthrough film that brought him and Japanese cinema in general to Western audiences. A tale about a murder and the various lies we tell each other to make sense of our existence.

The film is about a murder trial. A nefarious bandit, Tajômaru (Toshirô Mifune), is accused of murdering a travelling samurai in front of his wife. We hear four different versions of the events that took place. One from each of the three and one from a bystander. Each tale differs from one another and in the end it's left for the viewer to decide who to believe.

Rashomon is a clever tale and full of depths, but it also shows that Kurosawa was still travelling towards his prime. The acting is a bit overplayed in certain scenes. Mifune especially overacts constantly, which in some ways fits the character, but is still a bit jarring. The score is also surprisingly distracting. That being said, the camera-work is beautiful, the storytelling works very well and even the framing story about people hiding from the rain and talking about the trial is not as bad as it could be.

And it's simply a fascinating story on thematic level. It's made clear very early that all the witnesses lie to make themselves look better. They all try to shift the blame, to make their own accord seem dignified or born out of necessity. Even the final story by the bystander has undercurrents that make it seem not as objective as it should. So who to believe?

In the end the film provides no answers. Rather it asks us to wonder how common this sort of behaviour is in everyday life. Do we shape our subjective realities by telling stories? And if we do so, do we also allow the stories of others to have an affect on what we believe to be true, to be reality?

It's up to you to decide. But first you have to ask the question in the first place.
Great film with amazing influence
Rashômon is one of legendary director Akira Kurosawa's (Seven Samurai, Yojimbo) great works of art. It is a dark and cynical outlook on mankind and it's morality and integrity. It is the story of the murder of a man and the rape of his wife, told from four different perspectives. Each perspective contradicts the others and it is left to the audience's interpretation as to who told the truth. Rashômon was the first film to utilize the telling of the same story from different perspectives and that technique has now become a staple in creative filmmaking. It is used in many different films such as Vantage Point (2008), The Usual Suspects (1995), and even the animated film Hoodwinked! (2005). It is for this reason that you absolutely cannot say that Rashômon is not an influential film.

Akira Kurosawa is highly acclaimed to be one of the greatest directors who ever lived, and his skills in cinematography and art direction never fail to amaze. Rashômon is no exception. It is beautifully shot in its three settings the entire movie takes place in. It is this intelligent and immaculate direction which captivates and awes you, as you try and decipher the mystery taking place. The story is not complex on the surface but it is the intriguing themes and motifs that Kurosawa explores that make Rashômon an experience that makes you think. Nothing in the film is set straight and it is all up to viewer interpretation.

Rashômon is an excelling work of art, yet a few things must be taken into account to truly understand where the film comes from. It was made in 1950's Japan, a very different time with a very different culture. The filming and acting techniques are noticeably different than modern filmmaking is used to. At times the acting seems very overdone and melodramatic, but you have to take into account the time period. Also the portrayal of women in this film could be looked upon sorely, but this is likely a cultural thing which can't be understood without the proper research. These "issues" are hardly minor gripes and can't really be considered legitimate thing to complain about.

Rashômon is influential filmmaking at it's best. What Kurosawa explores in this film are things that will stand the test of time and make Rashômon a classic film by a legendary director.
"I don't understand my own soul."
Akira Kurosawa is unquestionably the most recognised film-making talent ever to emerge from Japan, his string of reputed masterpieces including 'The Seven Samurai (1954),' 'Yojimbo (1961)' and 'Ran (1985),' each of which I have yet to enjoy, my experience with Asian cinema worryingly limited. After recently enjoying my first Kurosawa picture, the powerful but slightly-overlong 'Nora inu / Stray Dog (1949),' I was keen to watch another, though I couldn't yet find the time to commit myself to one of the director's three-hour-long epics. 'Rashômon (1950)' proved the perfect alternative. Kurosawa's film, the first to bring him into the international limelight, uses a simple story – of a husband's death in the woods – to reveal a simple but worryingly-accurate truth of human existence: that the truth itself is unknowable. The unique narrative structure of the film, of replaying the same event four times from differing perspectives, had the potential to become nothing more than a curious gimmick, yet Kurosawa makes it all work wonderfully, aided by the exquisite cinematography of Kazuo Miyagawa and electric performances from all involved, most particularly Kurosawa-regular Toshirô Mifune.

The film opens in a bleak, bitter rainstorm – one of those mighty skyward torrents that makes us drought-stricken Australians green with envy – where three men are sheltering in the ruins of a gatehouse. Three days previously, the oldest of the three, Woodcutter (Takashi Shimura), discovered the body of a man in the woods, and has recently returned from a police inquiry. The coarse, unkempt Commoner (Kichijiro Ueda) demands to hear the remainder of the Woodcutter's story, and so he recounts three "versions" of the shocking rape/murder, told from the perspective of the Bandit (Toshirô Mifune), the husband (Masayuki Mori) and the wife (Machiko Kyô), each story differing substantially from the other two. The existence of subjectivity, it seems, has permanently obscured any chances of ever knowing the absolute "truth" of the incident, with each perspective – perhaps deliberately, perhaps subconsciously – distorting the truth to conform to their own interests. It is revealed that even the seemingly-passive observer, Woodcutter, has his own reasons for adjusting the facts, this final revelation almost permanently denting the honest Priest's (Minoru Chiaki) belief in the goodness of Mankind.

After portraying a modest, tentative rookie detective in Kurosawa's 'Stray Dog,' Toshirô Mifune is an absolute revelation as the notorious Tajômaru. Regardless of the specific version of events, Mifune unequivocally dominates the screen, his maniacal energy and frenzied cackle certain to imprint on your mind. The basis for the film was derived from two stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, with "Rashomon" providing the setting, and "In a Grove" supplying the characters and plot. The flashback components of the story unfold under the dappled light of the trees, and, on several occasion,s Miyagawa films the Sun directly through the leaves of the forest canopy, perhaps representative of the "light of truth" that is being obscured by the inherent dishonesty in Man {personified in the selfish Commoner}. Of course, Kurosawa couldn't bring himself to end the film in such a pessimistic fashion, and the Woodcutter redeems his previous deception by offering to care for an abandoned newborn baby discovered in the gatehouse. As the rainstorm ceases, and the glorious sunlight once again begins to beam down upon the lands, the Priest finally regains his faith in the goodness to be found in a man's heart.
Perceiving the difference
I'd give any Kurosawa film, except maybe for his very first and very last ones, a mark of 10/10. His films should be watched over and over again, their inner depth and cinematic mastery are breathtaking.

What is strange about Rashomon is that it was taken among western viewers as a film depicting the inability of memory to capture reality, somewhat like Antonioni's Blow-Up. But, watching the film, that is not what is depicted. What we get to see are three characters, each telling his or her version of a crime that was committed, each blaming himself or herself for an act of murder. The bandit says he has killed a man after raping his wife. The wife says she has killed a man, her husband, after being raped by the bandit. The dead man himself, through a possessed shaman, says he has killed himself, after watching his wife being raped. It's hard to believe they would have doubts about something like an act of murder or suicide and their complicity in it. It is obvious that at least two of them are lying (and not 'simply' remembering differently what has happened). Isn't it peculiar that the characters fake their guilt and not their innocence?

I believe Kurosawa tries to tell us about the way people make up their own personal blame in order to get respect, the way they tend to crave self-sacrifice. This critique is then taken even further, once the witness tells his own version of the story, and the monk looses faith in humanity. Kurosawa has dealt with similar themes in some of his other movies. These issues, I feel, are much more complex than what is usually perceived as the film's 'existentialist' theme, and might also hint at what has alienated Kurosawa's art from Japanese audiences.

Perhaps, ironically, the real 'Rashomon Effect' could only be found in western audiences' perceptions and interpretations of the film.
How to view "Rashomon"
Many people have written about "Rashomon" and debated the plot, what "really" happened, who was telling the truth, whether the complete truth is ever told, etc. I think it's possible to state an uncontradictory account of the actual event (which I don't want to describe in detail, as I want to avoid writing a spoiler). The thing to ask yourself, while watching the film,is this: What is the motivation of each character? Each story reveals that person's deepest fear. In the story each person tells, they are trying to protect the one thing they are most afraid of losing. Given this perspective, I find the film is actually quite understandable and makes a lot of sense. One other comment I'd like to make is that Kurosawa-san once said, "Women are not my specialty." I beg to differ! The wife's emotion is so very real, certainly just as real as the men's. I could name my favorite women characters in his other films too...but that might wander outside the scope of this review.
"It's human to lie"
This is the first Kurosawa film that really punctured the Amero-centric film bubble, that left Hollywood the near sole producer of films after their nearest competition, Germany, lost their best directors due to Anti-Semitic pogroms. Thankfully, there is no pandering to try and imitate such a film, there are no musical numbers, not much action of any kind, and characters that aren't the nicest of people.

The story starts in the rain, as a group of people huddle around under an abandoned building to avoid it. From there, the common man is told by a woodcutter about a rape and murder in the woods, as well as a depressed monk who is losing his faith in the human species. From there, we are told multiple differing stories from multiple perspectives about what happened, and all of them vehemently contradict each-other. All of them cast a mystery that gives the viewer nothing to go on but their words.

What makes it work is that all of the stories, though self-pitying, all feel like they could have happened. There is no favouritism between the three parties, and all are giving 100% believable performance when they retell their stories, including minor pieces of exposition which lend credence to their tales yet further.

We are consistently cutting back to the commoner who's actually pretty funny and worldly, who offers a simple, unpretentious counter to the more philosophical world-view that Kurosawa is trying to explore. His crudeness is even somewhat likable. His attempts to try and rationalise the stories are magnificent in their roughness. There is further character development between the monk and woodcutter, both of whom have character arcs in their own right. Both stories, that of the 3 under the building, and the rape and murder, are excellent in their own right, but once combined, we can even then see parallels between them, and that shifts the film into masterpiece territory, without being a completely inaccessible puddle of pretentious cinema. This is a film a 12 year old who likes Transformers can watch as well as some 50 year old Swedish artisan.

One really gets a sense of the desperation eating at men's souls, including in all the murder scenes, and the sniping between the nihilist commoner and the (clinging) spiritual monk. There is a sense of underlying nastiness at the heart of everyone, but likewise a sense of potential redemption, though it most certainly doesn't completely conquer all that is wrong. Rashomon leaves us with an honest portrayal of the human species that doesn't leave us completely hopeless, nor wilfully ignorant.

It leaves us with hope, and hope can only exist in fear.
"I just don't understand this story"
These are the opening words of Rashômon, and in a way that's also a summary of the entire film. It is the story of four testimonies of the same event that couldn't differ more. It is told by a priest and a woodcutter to a commoner, as they seek shelter from the rain under the Rashomon gate. The priest and the woodcutter were witnesses in a trial, and what they heard there made them puzzled, and after they told everything, the viewer is just as puzzled as these two.

What happened? Takehiro, a samurai has been murdered and Masako, his wife has been raped, the suspect is Tajômaru. And indeed, in court he confesses to have raped the woman and to have killed the samurai in duel. Masako however tells quite a different story: After Tajômaru took advantage of her, he left and despair and pity made her kill her husband, but to commit suicide, just as she originally planned, she's to weak. Then the murdered samurai speaks, through the voice of a medium. In his story, he committed suicide because of disgust at his wife, who asked Tajomaru to kill him in order to accompany the robber. At the end, we hear even another story from the woodcutter, who was, as he reveals, an eyewitnesses. In his version, Tajômaru killed the samurai in a duel (or rather: in a brawl) that was demanded by his wife.

Now what did really happen? Why did at least three of these four people lie? The reason cannot be (as the commoner says at one point) that everyone told what was useful for him, since, except for the woodcutter, everyone told a story in which he was the killer. So do they all think their story is true? Do they all feel guilty for a reason or another? These questions will cause endless discussions once you watch this film.

And the end, Kurosawa raises another question: If man keeps lying (to others as well as to himself), does that mean he is evil? This question is underlined by the crying baby the three men find in the Rashômon gate. Kurosawa's answer to this question is clearly a no: the woodcutter takes the baby to raise him and the priest realizes that he is a good man, even although he's a lier and a thief.

But if Kurosawa had only raised these questions, Rashômon wouldn't have become such a classic as it is considered today. He is telling his story with breathtaking images, as when he's holding his camera directly into the sun, when he uses the wood, light and shadow to create a dense atmosphere, or when he shows the trial scenes, where he makes the witnesses talk to the viewers to make them feel like the judges. The fight scenes are all terrifically shot, and the scene before Masako kills Takehiro can move you to tears. Rashômon also has some good acting, especially the breathtaking Toshirô Mifune in one of film history's most unforgettable performances as the wild robber Tajômaru, always jumping around and seemingly untamable and unafraid. All this makes Rashômon a mind-boggling experience, that had me talk all night through with friends of mine, and still stirs me whenever i watch it.
A masterpiece of Japanese cinema! A must-see!
Akira Kurosawa's classic Rashomon is one of the most amazing movies I have ever seen. It is often cited as the reason that the Academy Awards started a foreign film category. Incidentally, it did win an Honorary Award from the Academy for Best Foreign Film. More than a film, Rashomon is more of a meditation on this dishonest nature of man. As we listen to four different testimonies of the same heinous crime, we see that people will lie to save themselves, no matter what the circumstances. The film begins with a priest and a wood cutter speaking within a temple during a terrible rain. Their conversation is a mystery until another man arrives, and begins to ask questions about their subject matter. It is revealed that the men have just returned from court, where they gave their testimonies in a trial against a vicious bandit known as Tajomaru (Toshiro Mifune in all of his manic, savage mastery). The bandit tells his side of the story. The woman that he most-likely raped follows with her version of the truth. Then, the story takes an odd twist toward the macabre as a medium is called in to channel the spirit of the woman's murdered husband, who provides an all-together different story. Needless to say, the case is hopeless. The priest and wood cutter find themselves drowning in their own self-pity because of the horrendous state of the world. The priest lamenting that he has lost his faith in man. The other man at the temple laughs it all off, having seen too much tragedy in his lifetime to weep over the injustice which has just taken place. The film does end on a relatively upbeat tone, however. The wood cutter is given a chance to take control of life, a reminder that his life is his own, and that his decisions are still his own, even in the face of the insurmountable odds against anyone struggling to survive in his troubled times. To me, the three men at the temple are the forces of good, evil, and humanity, which is trapped in the middle. The priest is a holy man seeking virtue in a time when virtue was essentially a sign of weakness. The man who approached the wood cutter and the priest embodies the corrupted soul of man, embittered by the harsh cruelties of reality. The wood cutter, neither virtuous nor evil, is confused, and has resigned to be neutral, no matter how much it may hurt him. However, out of the midst of all of this chaos, rain, murder, rape, and perjury, hope is found, and I believe that the wood cutter takes his first step toward realizing his dream by attempting to become that which he prays for - a man of decency.

This film is extraordinarily powerful. The contrast of the endless downpour at the temple and the beautiful, sun-soaked forest is magnificent, as is the cinematography on the whole. The writing and directing is wonderful, and the performances of the actors and actresses, while arguably over-the-top (note that this was the acting style being used at the time), are more powerful than anything else. Toshiro Mifune's performance was particularly striking as the remorseless bandit. Emotionally poignant performances from Machiko Kyo, Masayuki Mori, and Takashi Shimura, among others create a stirring ensemble which Kurosawa masterfully uses to weave this ancient tale (the film was based on a story called "In the Grove") into a cinematic masterpiece that brought him international recognition.

I would recommend this film to anyone due to the fact that I believe it to be a work of infinite cinematic value and of great philosophical significance. This is an absolute must-see!
Rain and shine
This is a remarkable film, an exercise in straightforward storytelling that nonetheless remains elliptical at its conclusion. The dense symbolism of the film is in evidence form the first frame, with two Godot-like figures sheltering from a rainstorm in the ruin of a traditional Japanese building. A third, hobo-fool character passes through and gets them to discuss their preoccupation. It's nothing to do with the building or the weather though - their fettered speech is because they have heard four different versions of the same awful crime.

All four accounts get played out in flashback, interspersed with tableaux from the court which hears them (we, the audience, sit as police). The accounts are melodramatic, often rather funny (largely through Toshirô Mifune's manic laughter as the bandit Tajômaru). The stories and their staging occur in bright sunlight and its concomitant, high-contrast shadow, which becomes a dappled net of light and shade in the grove of the crime. Disturbingly the accounts all contradict each other; crucially this contradiction is shifts the blame-apportion but barely changing the outcome. Instead, the tragedy transfers to those in the present who cannot grip the perspective of dishonesty and tragedy, or what it means.

I see Rashomon as a fresh-minted parable, old period & characters narrating and acting out a story for modern, hurting Japan, which was emerging from the trauma of post-war shame and suffering. The conclusion is complex, but not ambivalent: the woodcutter, though stripped of confidence, reason and moral relativity retains an irreducible grip on his humanity, enough to carry the future of Japan out into the new sun. 7/10
📹 Rashomon full movie HD download 1950 - Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, Kichijiro Ueda, Fumiko Honma, Daisuke Katô - Japan. 📀