What do you get when you cross bad bald caps, weird eyebrows and rice wine?
You get a Kurosawa film of course!
I can’t decide which is his signature; the weird eyebrows or the overacting.
Watching a Kurosawa film is like watching a musical on the small screen – which is great because I love musicals! I haven’t seen a drunk that convincingly unconvincing since ‘North by Northwest’. Everything is bigger, not necessarily better, and yet so much more fun. Like a pantomine starring ex Neighbours cast members (a bucket list item for me for sure).
The plot of this film is given away early. A small town goes on a quest to recruit a bunch of samurai to save them from bandits living in the mountains who have threatened to steal their crops after harvest. They end up recruiting… you guessed it! Seven Samurai!
Kambei Shimada: The farmers have won. We have lost.
The whole operation is lead by Kambei Shimada. This guy to me is just an early Mr Miyagi – what Miyagi would have been like in his heyday. He is a phenomenal actor and a standout amongst the flamboyant cackling of Kikuchiyo (who I remembered well as the star of ‘Rashômon), over-the-top caterwauling of Shino, and Yohei, whose overly expressive facials just remind me of a one-man gurning competition. The coolest part is that our early Mr Miyagi, Shimada, was a real life samurai! (Well a descendent of samurai anyway). This guy’s got street cred in spades!
This film taught me lots of things. It taught me that it’s hard to take a samurai seriously when he’s wearing no pants, and it is possible to die instantly from a spear to the butt cheek.
Most of all, it taught me why the Barenaked Ladies claimed that Kurosawa made mad films.
I don’t make films… but if I did they’d have a samurai.
Have you seen ‘Seven Samurai’? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments below.