Akira Kurosawa directed a masterpiece in 1954 when he made the `Seven Samurai’. It is a film that has influenced several others for more than four decades. It has inspired films like 'The Magnificent Seven' and Hindi blockbusters like `Sholay' and `China Gate'. Many filmmakers use this as a study film.
Kurosawa mesmerises and tells a great story. It is about 205 minutes long and each frame is a worthwhile one. It offers a master lesson in how to pace an epic tale.
The story takes place in a sixteenth century village in Japan that is regularly attacked by bandits. The Samurai are hired by the village elders to shield them against the bandits. The visuals are excellent, especially the one scene focusing on a bowl of rice and rice dumplings to drive home the importance of a bowl of rice that was acknowledged by the Samurai. This was their price for the battle they were going to wage. The Samurai come off as a selfless lot who sacrifice themselves for the cause of the farmers. The final scenes shot in the rain are superlative.
The film won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1954. It deserved much more than this. Kurosawa made four Samurai classics - The Seven Samurai, the Hidden Fortress, Yojimbo and Sanjuro. The other masterpiece that he has directed is `Rashomon'.
The music by Fumio Hayasaka is haunting and outstanding. It is a superb and distinct score. This film is cinematic perfection and one of the best films ever made. It was voted by `Sight and Sound' as one of the ten greatest films of all time.