Quick recap: A group of farmers, tired of being pillaged by bandits year after year (and really, who isn’t?) ,decide to hire samurai to keep their town safe. Seven samurai, to be precise.
Fun (?) fact: Seven Samurai was the first film to showcase a ‘reluctant hero’, as well as the gathering of the heroes, now common in a film like Ocean’s 11.
My thoughts: Nothing can kill my excitement for a movie quicker than ‘3 hours and 27 minutes’. I have heard people talk how amazing this movie is, but I just can’t see anything being worth 3 hours and 27 minutes. Except for Jeanne Dielman, but that was an action filled time watching her cook dinner and wash dishes. No way Seven Samurai could top that.
From the first scene, when the bandits decide to save their pillaging for another time when there will be stuff to pillage (common sense), there was non stop action. Maybe not action in the sense of fighting, although there was plenty of that, but action that drove the plot. I can’t think of a single scene that was unnecessary to the story, or a time that I felt bored. In the same respect, there wasn’t so much going on that I was confused. Although it is a long running time, it is well justified.
I think my favorite aspect of Seven Samurai and the part I was most surprised by, is the emotion. As the villagers and samurai became used to one another and started to work as a team, I became more invested in each character and although I knew that the ending would be sad, it still took me by surprise. I think most of that stems from watching how kind the samurai were to the entire village. Save for Katsushirō, the samurai who fell in love, everyone respected the farmers and went to great lengths to prove they weren’t all that bad. But in the end, samurai are warriors and they had to do what they were hired to do.
The final scenes in battle and the final moments with the samurai are some of the more emotional I have watched. The final scene especially: the 3 surviving warriors watching the happy villagers plant their crops and sing, almost as if they had forgotten all of the violence that led to their freedom from the bandits. Instead of being angry at the seeming callousness towards the fallen men, the samurai note that it is the villagers who are the victors and so should be celebrating. They have done their job.
Final review: 5/5. Watch this movie. Doesn’t matter if you dislike war films or having to read subtitles or whatever the excuse- watch this movie.
Up next: Monsieur Verdoux