In a Nutshell. Mini reviews of movies old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. And often no sleep.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Seven Samurai (1954)

Set in 16th Century Japan, Kurosawa's much imitated feature is the story of seven rōnin who are hired to protect a village of poor farmers from a gang of merciless bandits. Outnumbered by approx 6:1 and paid only in rice the swordsmen, led by the altruistic Kambei (Takashi Shimura), must work together tirelessly despite their reasons for accepting the job being different.
It's a long film, over three hours, but the three distinct phases (the hiring of the seven, the preparation for battle, and the battle itself) each lead seamlessly into the next, preventing it from feeling too stretched out.
Toshirô Mifune, Kurosawa's regular collaborator, isn't the leader, but he plays a key role and even provides a few laughs that lighten the mood.

4½ bamboo spears out of 5

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