Legendary director Akira Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare’s “King Lear” as a singular historical epic set in 16th century Japan.
An elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other — and him. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa’s late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war and the crumbling of one family under the weight of betrayal, greed, and the insatiable thirst for power.
“What's remarkable about RAN is that the drama enhances the spectacle the same way the spectacle bolsters the drama. Few other directors had Kurosawa's ability to convey the intimate as well as the epic, to handle stillness as well as violence.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times “By the time Kurosawa's camera comes to rest on the film's final, poignant image, a painting of the Buddha that one character had promised another would protect him from harm, the movie seemingly has accomplished the impossible: one-upping Shakespeare.” —Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post