Friday, December 3, 2010

Kumonosu-jō (Throne of Blood)

Akira Kurosawa and Shakespeare are on the exact same wave length, and this re-imagining of one of Shakespeare's greatest and bloodiest plays, "Macbeth" goes to show it.

It is set at Spider Castle, which is situated at the edge of a hunted forest--Spider Forrest. Lord Tsuzuki (King Duncan) received the news of his troops victory over the rebels and of brave Washizu's (Macbeth; played by Toshiro Mifune) courage and instrumental help in the battle and decides to give him a promotion and make him lord of the North Castle who's former lord was forced to commit seppuku because of his disloyalty to Lord Tsuzuki. Mean wile, as Washizu and his close friend Miki (Banquo) are returning from the battle they are both for told of the future events by a evil spirit in the forest (standing in for the Weird Sisters): Washizu is to become lord of the recently fallen North Castle and later be lord of his master's land while Miki's son is to later be lord of his masters land. When Washizu and Miki arrive back at Spider Castle they find, to their surprise, that part of the fortune for told to them came true. Washizu then tells his wife of the fortune and their acquirement of the North Castle and the story unfolds.

One of the main differences between this movie and "Macbeth" is that Washizu is arguably less evil then the famed Thane, however his wife, is arguably even more evil then Lady Macbeth is. Instead of Macbeth hiring three murders to kill Banquo, Washizu's wife--unbeknownst to Washizu--has a gaurd carry out the deed.

I must admit that Toshiro Mifune is one of my favorite actors, and he only cements his greatnesss to me in this film. Really does play Washizu to a tee, and sometimes I am even convinced that Mifune himself is a madman.

I strongly recommend this play to anybody. You don't have to know the "Macbeth", Shakespeare, Kurosawa, or Mifune to really understand the film. It simply is an awsome work of art. I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10.

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