RAN 1985

Amazon Instant Video

(53) IMDb 8.3/10
Available in HDAvailable on Prime

Kurosawa takes Shakespeare's King Lear to feudal Japan. The Great Lord steps aside for his three sons. His wish is to live out his years as a guest with each son. While the older two flatter him, the youngest warns of the folly of expecting them to be united.

Starring:
Tatsuya Nakadai, Mieko Harada
Runtime:
2 hours 35 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

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RAN

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama, Action & Adventure, International, Historical
Director Akira Kurosawa
Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Mieko Harada
Supporting actors Akira Terao, Yoshiko Miyazaki, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu
Studio STUDIOCANAL
BBFC rating Suitable for 12 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A LISTER on 3 Nov 2004
Format: DVD
The recent UK 2 disc edition (which isn't listed here yet despite the fact I've seen it in the shops) is an insult to our inteligence by being the dubbed version.
This US version in Japanesse with subs is a far superior edition and I'd urge all fans of the film in the UK to go for this instead.
Theres no region listed on the box and I've tried it in 3 players and it worked in all of them. I'm therefore pretty certain that this is an ALL REGION disc.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By JDB11 on 2 Jun 2007
Format: DVD
Akira Kurasawa is a monolithic figure in world cinema and this film is in my view his very best work. The story, as is well known, is simply a reworking of Shakespeare's King Lear. The Great Lord decides to abdicate and divide his empire between his three sons, one of whom says this is madness as greed will destroy the family and is promptly exiled. Kurasawa brilliantly captures the melodrama at the centre of Shakespeare's play and lays it on thick. There is no subtly to the acting or the plot, as this is not faithful to the material, but the spirit is well realised.

It is the quite simply breathtaking cinematography that really makes this stand out. From shots of mounted samurai on the green and otherworldly slopes of mount Fuji to the beautiful castle interiors Kurasawa paints a wonderful picture. The colours are vibrant and the shot composition is extremely clever. I am personally most impressed by the first lavish battle scene which conveys the horror of war and its brutality so vividly with blood running from the castle walls and storms of arrows. This however, is no simple battle as you would find in a hollywood film. Eerie music plays over the top and troops are portrayed running backwards and forwards in such a way as to give the impression of the noise and activity of the battle without actually showing it.

Ran is also a wonderful advert for the extreme folly of war. King Lear is quite bleak, but Kurasawa's imagining of this element is heart wrenching. The way that the film reaches its conclusion and each character is killed off is deeply moving, and perhaps the final shot of the one character who survives is the worst of all.

If you are looking for a clever innovative plot then this is not the sort of film to look out for.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Walter C. Dent on 2 Oct 2009
Format: Blu-ray
This import Studio Canal is no better than an upscaled DVD. Detail is lost, or non-existent. I had hopes for this transfer since Criterion lost the rights to remaster and this appears, no, shows, that the DVD master was transfered directly to Bluray.

Don't waste your money if you have the DVD. Criterion is one of the few who values quality. Hopefully, Criterion will have rights to remaster this great work properly. The film's opening credits are fuzzy yet the English subtitles are sharp. I believe Studio Canal used the original DVD master and only upgraded the subtitles for this release. I suspected that this would be the situation when I haven't seen any feedback about this release. I will think twice before I pre-order again.

Criterion's excellent release of "In The Realm of the Senses" makes this Studio Canal transfer look worse than Gladiator. I truly regret paying so much for an import that isn't a true highdef product. This total disregard for quality is what makes the average person think that paying extra for high def when this is the result is foolish, and they are correct when this is an example of what is being released.

Avoid at all costs and hope for a Criterion release.

My setup:
47" 1080P LCD
Panasonic BD30 and Momitsu Bluray
Oppo 983H DVD
Onkyo 605 HDMI HD Receiver
Definitive Technology Speakers and Subwoofer's
Sitting 6.5 feet away from the screen.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. on 16 Aug 2007
Format: DVD
"Ran" is the first film I've watched by Akira Kurosawa. Now I'm a huge fan of his work thanks to my Amazonian friends who had already seen it. When a legend like Kurosawa, does a King Lear adaptation at the tender age of 75, one would expect a small-scale film concentrating on the human elements of the story. That he produced an epic of such proportions makes a further evaluation of the great man's contribution to cinema necessary.

"Ran" is set in medieval Japan and follows the basic King Lear narrative closely. Lord Hidetora is an aging warlord and, wanting a peaceful retirement, decides to divide his kingdom up amongst his three sons. After banishing the youngest, Saburo, for pouring scorn on the idea, Hidetora finds himself an unwanted obstacle to the older two. After repeated humiliations, pride forces Hidetora into vain wanderings on the open plain, his state of mind declining as rapidly as his entourage.

The film sets itself the unenviable task of trying to explain the precarious position man holds within the universe. Man is seen to be elevating himself to such a level that he dreams of challenging the very laws of nature. Hidetora has achieved his status through deception, callousness and violence; his notion to wash away the blood he has spilt in happy retirement is scornfully thrown back by the elements. The speed and manner in which he is forced to lie in the bed he has made for himself should serve as a warning to all.

The films large set pieces, particularly two quite stunning battle sequences, are staged magnificently, but 'Ran' is no empty epic. The characters and their motivations are fully explored and the tension built up by the dialogue fully compliments the action.
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