Seven Samurai is widely considered one of, if not the greatest film of all time.. The film is 207 minutes and that may seem like a daunting “task” for some and I myself was worried that it would be overlong, packed with fluff and at times, boring. Man, was I ever wrong.
In foreign films it is often hard, at least in my opinion, to gauge how well an actor performs because we do not speak the language. So much of the performance is in the delivery of the lines that the effect is sometimes greatly lowered. Not here though, the performances are so great that it doesn’t matter whether or not you understand what they are saying. Everyone is very good here, but the main praise has to go to our seven samurai. Everything they do, every emotion they give is 100% believable. You really grow to care about them through the movie, which is very important in any movie. The farmers are good as well. Some not as good as others but there isn’t anyone that was bad or bogged the film down in any way.
The music is really great. Sometimes it seems like it doesn’t go well with the scenes it can be a little funky at times but you will realize that is goes perfect with the scene. Later in the movie, the “funkiness” dissipates and the music is subtle at times and loud at others but it always is perfect. Fumio Hayasaka should be very proud of what he did well, if he were still alive that is. Sadly, he died just one year after this movie was released.
Now, normally black and white movies, as I’ve found, don’t have very…interesting cinematography to say the least. It’s normally point and shoot. Now, I’m sure that isn’t the case with all black and white movies, but the ones I’ve seen are just plain. This however, is amazing. There is always something going on. Be it a stream flowing, horses moving, people walking, flags waving or water wheels moving, there is always something moving and it makes the movie that much more interesting. Everything is filmed in such a beautiful way and the black and white image just enhances it. I personally feel that it would be impossible for this movie to be as great as it is if it were to be in color.
What else is there to say about Seven Samurai that hasn’t been said yet over the 58 years since its release. Three and a half hours may seem like a long time to be watching a movie, but the movie couldn’t have gone on long enough. I was completely engrossed in this world and this is a movie experience I will never have again, at least not a first time. As I stated earlier, many people consider this to be the greatest film put to celluloid.
It blends every genre to complete perfection. There are breathtaking action scenes, the rain fight at the end is utterly amazing, but don’t think that this is an all out action movie, action doesn’t really start until a while into the film but it doesn’t matter, it keeps you captivated throughout, hilarious comedy bits that still hold up after all these years (hence the “hilarious” bit), suspense, drama and even a hint of romance not a ton though. While it is not my favorite film of all time it’s sure as hell way up there though, it is quite simply the greatest film I have ever set my eyes upon.