Watch Ran

"In a mad world, only the mad are sane."
  • R
  • 1985
  • 2 hr 40 min
  • 8.2  (134,571)
  • 97

The movie Ran, directed by legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, was released in 1985 and is based on Shakespeare's play King Lear. The movie opens with Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai), a powerful and aging warlord, who has decided to divide his empire among his three sons: Taro (Akira Terao), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu), and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu). However, Saburo, who is loyal to his father, questions the wisdom of this decision, which leads to a conflict between father and son.

The conflict among the family members worsens when Taro and Jiro become greedy for more power and wealth. They betray Hidetora and go to war against each other, fighting for control of the empire. Hidetora is forced to flee and becomes a madman, wandering through the war-torn countryside with only his fool to keep him company. Meanwhile, Lady Kaede (Mieko Harada), the wife of one of Hidetora's sons, is revealed to be a vengeful and manipulative woman who is using her husband as a pawn to gain control of the empire.

The movie is a visual masterpiece, featuring stunning cinematography that showcases the Japanese landscape and architecture. Kurosawa's use of color is also noteworthy, as he creates a vivid and nuanced visual language to convey the emotional and psychological states of his characters. The battle scenes are epic and intense, with violence and bloodshed portrayed in a brutal and realistic manner.

The movie is also notable for its themes of power, loyalty, and betrayal. The story of Hidetora and his sons is a cautionary tale about the dangers of greed and the corrupting influence of power. The character of Lady Kaede is a complex and intriguing figure, defying traditional gender roles and challenging the male-dominated world of feudal Japan. The movie raises questions about the nature of loyalty and duty, as Hidetora and his sons all face difficult moral choices.

One of the most powerful aspects of the movie is the performance of Tatsuya Nakadai as Hidetora. Nakadai is a veteran actor who has collaborated with Kurosawa on several other movies, and his portrayal of Hidetora is a tour de force. He captures the character's hubris, vulnerability, and madness with great subtlety and nuance. His scenes with his fool, played by Peter (Yoshitaka) Frank, are especially poignant, as the two characters bond despite their vastly different social standings.

The movie also features an outstanding score by Toru Takemitsu, which adds another layer of emotional depth and complexity to the story. The music ranges from haunting and melancholic to bombastic and epic, perfectly complementing the visuals and enhancing the dramatic impact of the story.

Overall, Ran is a monumental achievement in the history of cinema. It's a powerful and emotionally resonant drama that explores timeless themes of human nature and morality. The movie's stunning visuals, outstanding performances, and unforgettable score all combine to create an unforgettable cinematic experience that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

Ran is a 1985 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.2 and a MetaScore of 97.

Where to Watch Ran
Ran is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Ran for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.2  (134,571)
  • Metascore