ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel


Updated on February 12, 2012

A tragic story of the darkness within us all

"Rashomon" is dark and tragic exploration on the human perspective and the weakness of humanity. In what starts out as another rainy day, a priest (Minoru Chiaki), a wood cutter (Takashi Shimura) and a commoner (Kichijiro Ueda) are gathered under an old shrine to keep away from the rain. However, when the commoner sees how shaken up the wood cutter and priest are, he can't help but ask them what has them in such a shiver. It's then the viewer is told a dark story about a noble samurai, Takehiro (Masayuki Mori), escorting his wife, Masago (Machiko Kyo), through the woods until they run into a notorious bandit, Tajomaru (Toshiro Mifune). Tajomaru sees the young and beautiful Masago and decides to kill Takehiro to get her. In a sequence of events, their meeting ends with the death of Takehiro. However, the story doesn't end there. In what follows, the viewers are treated to four different perspectives on how it happened with each story having its' own variation of the truth. Exposing human perspective as we all manipulate our stories to suit are own needs, and to simply justify our actions. Akira Kurosawa does a great job using a dark undertone theme to the film, that sends chills down the spine of anyone who sees this movie. Gripping audiences with a several variations of the same story each totally false, yet each containing some truth with the same elements of lust, envy, violence and tragedy. Enhanced by the brilliant performances of the entire cast, about the human perspective and the lies we all create affects our world, comes to life. "Rashomon" is a visual masterpiece using elements of film noir, and the first film to utilize the rotating camera technique. "Rashomon" is a powerful film that shall not be forgotten.

Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura and Machiko Kyo were just brilliant in their roles, as each actor presents strong conviction in their eyes and their body language, making it impossible for the viewer to distinguish the liar in the film. I remember when I saw Machiko Kyo crying as she testified before the judge, it seemed like her tears were just too genuine. It almost brought tears to my own eyes seeing her like that. However, when the viewer sees the story through Takehiro's point of view, she's seen as a heartless wench. Almost driving the viewer to want to strangle her. As for the Toshiro Mifune, what else can you say from this guy. He's proven once again how much of a great actor he is. Convincing the viewer that his story was one of an epic struggle and adventure. However, the best performance came from Takashi Shimura as he plays a common wood cutter that witnessed the entire incident.

Through the wood cutter, the audience is given a "third person" perspective on what happened. Even though Takashi's character has the least amount of reasons to lie, it's proven that his point of view can't be trusted either as he was just there to steal Takehiro's dagger. Hence, his opinion of the samurai and the bandit being pathetic, as they fought might have been just his own lie, so he wouldn't feel guilty about stealing from Takehiro after the fight. However, the wood cutter is also used to show that there is some good in humanity, as he offers to care for an orphan. Illustrating that humanity is filled with lies and greed but in that darkness, lies some good in us all.

The rotating camera makes this film a stunning visual work of art. Akira Kurasawa brilliantly uses this camera technique for a film noir effect as each story unfolds, thus creating a sense of mystery with the environment.

The symbolic representation of the darkness of our own perspectives as we see reality only to suit our own needs. When I first saw this film, it almost left me terrified at how true this film talks about human nature. Resonating a dark tone that sticks with the viewer after they have seen it.

"Rashomon" is truly a great film about the wickedness of humanity. Utilizing a great cast, and a new camera technique, Kurasawa is able to create one of the most visually stunning films ever made. "Rashomon" is truly a timeless classic for any true movie fan.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Stevennix2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Steven Escareno 

      5 years ago

      Wow i didn't even know they remade this movie for western audiences. I'll definitely be sure to check it out. thanks for the tip. :)

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      5 years ago from The High Seas

      Excellent movie! Also the Paul Newman movie, Outrage, which is the western version of this and stars William Shatner, is also a good flick.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)