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Customer Review

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important, enjoyable and thought-provoking film, 19 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Rashomon [1950] [DVD] (DVD)
Rashomon is one of those films you keep hearing about but hardly ever get the chance to see on the idiot box or at the cinema. Its exploration of multiple perspectives on the 'same' event is now a fairly standard device (Hilary and Jackie, for example) but seems remarkably fresh.
Three men (a priest, a woodcutter and a commoner) take shelter in the ruined gates of a palace (look on my works, ye mighty and despair and all that) as the rain drives down relentlessly. They are so gloomy they make Beckett's characters look positively chipper. Through them we learn of the trial of a bandit (played by Toshiro Mifune) accused of the rape of a woman and the murder of her husband. But what really happened, and are the details know-able? With little 'hard evidence', we rely on unreliable and all-too-human witnesses.
It's beautifully directed, beautifully shot. The dialogue is at turns chilling and wrenching, with shades of Bergman's The Seventh Seal.
One of the best films I've seen in the last twelve months...
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