Rashomon

Rashomon is a Japanese movie which dates back in the 1950s. Rashomon was directed by Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa cooperated with a cinematographer named Kazuo Miyagawa. Basically, the film was founded on two accounts by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. Rashomon is the one which presented the setting whereas “In a Grove” is the one which presented the characters and plots. Rashomon could be viewed as the one which initiated Kurosawa as well as Japanese films to Westerners.

It was also deemed as one of Kurosawa’s work of genius. The movie has a unique account that mirrors the hopelessness of attaining the truth about an occurrence when there are inconsistent observer’s reports. In English as well as on other foreign lingo, Rashomon has been an embodiment for any state of affairs in which the reality of an occasion is hard to validate because of different witnesses. Thus, in psychology, they borrowed the term Rashomon to produce what they call to be a “Rashomon effect”.

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The film basically portrays a rape and murder through the extensively varying reports of 4 witnesses. The tale opened out in a series of flashbacks as the 4 characters retold the incidents in a grove. However, it was also a flashback contained on another flashback since the reports of the witnesses are being restated by a woodcutter and a priest to a bawdy commoner while they are waiting for the rainstorm to stop. The variations of the stories were very conflicting, thus leaving the viewers incapable to establish the truth of the incidents.

Japanese critics labeled the film as a disappointment since the film was said to be dull, repetitive, complex, and so on. However, when the film obtained optimistic reactions from the Westerners, the Japanese critics were perplexed and thus this led them to conclude that the only reason the Westerners liked the film was that it was exotic as well as more Western in taster in contrast to other Japanese movies. The movie‘s success could be seen from the fact that it was awarded the Golden Lion Award. I was fascinated with the brilliance lurking behind the film.

There are four contradictory stories at the film which allows us to comprehend that it is innate on human beings to pay attention to the witnesses and decipher which of them would be telling facts. Another major factor which caught my interest is the way they used flashbacks all throughout the film. Since we view the incidents on flashbacks we suppose that those flashbacks mirror the truth. However, the only thing which those flashbacks mirror is a person’s standpoint (which we could not just accept as true since there are lies included on their differing views).

This is one of the major reasons why I was fascinated of the film. Usually, when watching movies which involves flashbacks one often associates flashbacks to be memories since that is how flashbacks are often used, yet I admire the way flashbacks were used in Rashomon since those flashbacks does not only portrays memories—there were lies included in it. I especially respect the way they used the flashbacks to show the audiences different standpoints based on what the witnesses believes to have happened in the grove.

Thus, although there were lies included in the flashbacks, there were still some truths associated with it. Another factor which caught my attention in the film is the way the casts portrayed their emotions. Instead of aiming for realism, Kurusawa instead focused more on the sincerity of human emotion which could be found on silent films. The exchange of dialogues were not given primary focus since the film centered more on the influence of the way the casts made use of their gestures in order to convey their emotions. Personally, I am no fan of films which are full of endless chatter.

I prefer to watch films which give more importance to the emotions than to the dialogues and that is basically the reason why I was taken by Rashomon. Therefore, I believe that in order for us to better understand the core of any film we must keep our intellects on the move. A film which feeds us everything and does not stimulate our reasoning skills in the process could never be called a brilliant film. The brilliance of Rashomon could be seen on the way it allows an interaction between the audience and the film; it allows the audience to use their mind in appraising Rashomon.