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Rashomon

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1 Rashomon on Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:16 pm

Omkar

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A 1950 movie. An honorary Academy award winner and an inspiration for numerous thrillers and suspense novels/movies. A very visible resemblance can be noted in Vantage Point. The reason why I want to share this with you is coz we got here a lot of unconventional movie lovers (Red, Kyo) who would love to see such quirkiness. I don't have much time so I'll just put some stuff directly from my assignment.


Plotline-

The narrative progresses through four different variations of the same set of events from the perspective of 3 people involved in the actual happenings and a fourth one- a bystander. The story is related and recounted by a woodcutter and a priest to a vagabond inside when they are stranded inside the temple of Rashomon. The events consist of a tragedy that befell on a samurai and his wife when they were ravaged on by a dreaded bandit named Tajumaro, who rapes the wife, the samurai husband is killed but in the end the woman manages to escape while the bandit is held.

Style of narrative-

The narrative consists of four perspectives-
1. The bandit.
2. The wife of the samurai.
3. The dead samurai through the medium of Miko, a female shaman.
4. The woodcutter.

Each of the stories has their own set of merits and inconsistencies. The bottom-line of the movie is how reality is modified by selfish motives.

Highlight of the movie: You never know what is the true story and every possible version can be debated upon.

This flick is a must watch. And if you already have, feel free to debate here. I'm posting a version (in spoiler format, of course) that I think is what actually happened.

Spoiler:
A story recreated:

Here’s an attempt at borrowing elements from all the four stories and making a flawless, or less flawed version and trying to recreate an actual set of events.

The bandit was lying half asleep under a tree when he saw a samurai and his wife mounted on his horse passing by. Enchanted by her beauty, the bandit Tajomaru decides to ‘have her’. Lying about a cache of ancient swords he’d discovered, he lures the husband away deep into the forests. The objective of taking him away from the earshot of the wife having accomplished, the bandit then decides to overpower the samurai and the two duel fiercely. But in the end, the bandit manages to get the better of the samurai and ties him up to a tree.

He now turns his attention to the wife and brings her to her husband. After some initial resistance and a futile struggle at protecting her modesty by defending herself with a dagger, she is overpowered by bandit who rapes her in front of a meek and helpless husband.

Things take a dramatic twist when the bandit, after taking advantage of the wife, proposes marriage to her. The humiliated and violated wife says that it is for her husband to decide. However, the husband is unwilling and coldly states that at that stage, he would mourn the loss of his horse more than his wife. Hearing those words, the bandit loses interest in the wife. The woman, wild at the rejection of both men, calls them cowards and unmanly as a real man is supposed to fight for a woman’s love. Spurred by her words, a fierce duel between the samurai and the bandit ensues. Once again, the bandit subdues the samurai and mortally wounds him. Though pertified, the wife runs away taking advantage of the situation but not before an involuntary scream of horror. The bandit upon seeing this starts chasing the wife but eventually loses her. He comes back to the samurai, finds him dead and steals his horse. The dagger is eventually stumbled upon by the woodcutter who steals it and then reports the murder to the police.



Reasons for the above plotline:

The husband can’t have killed himself with the dagger otherwise it would’ve been too easily noticeable for the bandit who knew its value and wouldn’t’ve left it lying there. He would’ve probably stolen it along with the horse.
The husband dies a disgraced death- after losing his wife and being defeated twice. This is a possible reason of him wanting to defend his honor and lying about the set of events with projects him as an unfortunate hero.
The wife is disgraced too. The certainty of rape is inarguable but she doesn’t want to confess to the further insult of being rejected by both the men. In addition, she was, to a large extent, loyal to her husband, as suggested by her demure manner and a readiness to defend herself in the bandit’s version.
A large part of the woodcutter’s story is left unacknowledged because it doesn’t explain why the two men of expected valor would display shades of cowardice when battling, especially the bandit who already has overpowered the samurai once. Also, there’s a possibility of the man cooking up the events to add spice to the already twisted and uncertain tale. His profession being that of a man who’s by himself most of the time, there’s always a satisfactory assumption of him imagining things or in other words, not being completely sane.
The bandit’s has animal-like instincts in him so he defeating the samurai twice is not unconvincing. Also, he is a man of impulse. So he might propose marriage to the woman though it might not mean much to him.

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2 Re: Rashomon on Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:08 pm

Red

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Complete Douchebag!
Complete Douchebag!

Kurosawa sensei!!!!!
I haven't watched the movie yet. I'm never that free these days. Poor old DVD gathering dust... =(

But here's an almost insignificant piece of trivia I got from someplace (IMDB I think)
During the filming of the movie one day, Kurosawa-sama was approached in the set by an angry mob of actors from the movie. They complained that the script was confusing and made no sense to them.

Nice of you to write an article about it here, Omkar.
+1 Rep for you.

And I'll read the spoiler thingy after I watch it.


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I'm not implying anything but merely pointing out the futility of your posts!



"How art thou fallen from Amalga, oh R3dW0Lf?"

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