language : Japenese
Director and Editor : Akira Kurosawa
Writers : Akira, Shinobu and Hideo
Let me use a line from Wikipedia about this epic flick:
“Seven Samurai is described as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made”. Well, I couldn’t find a better opening line for my review.
A group of weeping farmers worried about the next bandit attack on their village is what opens the film. The old wise man of the village advises the peasants to hire a group of samurai to protect the village from the assault. So, upon his advice 4 peasants go to samurai town to find their savior.
After being denied by a lot of proud samurais, they do find one. However, after examining the size and nature of the village the first samurai – Kambei (played by Takashi Shimura) they have hired tells them that they need at least seven samurai to safeguard the village. Hence begins the pick of samurai. They pick has to be very particular because the farmers have nothing but rice to offer as wage to the samurai. And only a non arrogant samurai would take the offer.
The selection process is where the film starts amusing the watcher. A movie without much to offer in terms of entertainment till then begins to get a hold of the viewer of all of a sudden. Each of the seven samurai is unique in his own way. One an old friend of Kambei (Shichiroji), an archer samurai (Gorobei), a perfect super cool samurai (Kyuzo) and so on. The last pick however is not a samurai and is the film’s most enjoyable character (Toshiro Mufine).
Being a film of the 50’s the film does take a little while to get going. So, do watch the opening 20-30 minutes with a little patience and the film will take over from then on. The whole battle episode which takes the last hour of the film is quick and exciting and cannot be matched by any of the movies even today.
Seven samurai is a movie to be seen by every movie buff and should be a part of everyone’s movie library. It is a movie about which you want to tell others.
Another fun thing about the movie is the number of similarities or adaptations of the scenes or the plot which you will find in other movies (Sholay for instance). Many of the gangster flicks and movies where a bunch of guys are collected to fight a common cause are inspired from this Kurosawa classic.