Throne of Blood:Shakespeare Transposed
TODAY i talk about throne of blood. It is a true classic among movies. A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan. So today i review this classic masterpice as i start my themed string of reviews honoring Akira Kurosawa. so to begin this this review.
General Washizu (Toshiro Mifune) and General Miki (Minoru Chiaki) return home after defending Lord Tsuzuki (Takamaru Sasaki) kingdom and Spiderweb Castle from the invading forces. When they encounter a spirit in the forest (Chieko Naniwa), they learn that Washizu will be lord of Spiderweb castle and Miki’s son will eventually rule Spiderweb Castle. The prediction creates chaos when Washizu and his wife Asaji (Isuzu Yamada) decide to speed up the prophecy by slaying Lord Tsuzuki and setting off a chain of events that could doom them forever.
Throne of Blood review
Throne of Blood (1957) is described Akira Kurosawa’s adaptation of Macbeth which this is not untrue. The film is more than direct cinematic translation of a literary text. Kurosawa’s movie is a brilliant synthesis of diverse cultural, aesthetic, and historical sources, only one skein of which derives from Shakespeare. The film’s towering achievement lies in the way Kurosawa seamlessly integrates these and gives them superlative formal expression. Akira Kurosawa’s often loved to draw upon western ideas and stories and traits of many movies from western cultures in his movies. Noh shows up everywhere in Throne of Blood, making the project a real fusion of cinema and theater and showing just how cinematic theater can be in the hands of a great filmmaker. What is noh? It is a Traditional Japanese theatrical form among one of the oldest extant theatrical forms in the world. Noh—its name derived from nō, meaning “talent. Kurosawa can mix elements form many cultures to use his great talents to act out this story in play-like manner. Kurosawa intuited and explored was with the century of civil war in medieval Japan. Following the Onin War, which lasted from 1467 to 1477 is drawn upon in this movie.
Noh performing style, with its blend of dance, song, poetry, and mime, is antithetical to the realism and naturalism that invests acting in the West. It counters the meaning of Shakespeare’s famous lines in act 3, scene 2 of Hamlet about the actor holding the mirror up to nature. Performances in noh has an actor move in a way that aims that paradoxical way as when an actor moves in a powerful way. They must stamp their foot. Noh performance is a striking blend of stillness and agitation, a mixture of different gestures and tones. It is used in acting throughout the film. It is carried over even into the cinematic design of entire sequences. Way she moves in some scenes is the way an actor moves in noh as they move in and out of the scene. Noh has a trait of using musical introductions into acts it’s the play upon musical cues that intros into the acts of this movie. The acting is quite moving here with such wonderful performances along with a marvelous score and direction with such Powerful symbolism and nature is an actor too.
The acting of this movie is one of the most powerful elements as they are such powerful actors in their own right as they act out the movie. Toshirô Mifune plays an amazing role as Taketoki Washizu as even though he is told to play it down.Being Toshirô Mifune his charm just pours trough it. It’s truly a wonder of an actor to watch play out each scene on screen.
Isuzu Yamada as Lady Asaji Washizu is truly marvelous as she truly plays up the movie to a cue. She was a very long lasting actress in the medium as she been playing in roles since the 1930’s period at this point. She is truly a marvelous actress. Portrayal of Lady Asaji by her is something of a marvelous wonder. She plays it calm and almost indifferent in her cruelty as she has a smile when many things happen. She is a marvelous actress with such range to her performance.
Takashi Shimura as Noriyasu Odagura is marvelous. He is a very wonderful character actor. He was a wonderful actor of Japan for many years playing many wonderful characters. He is able to melt into them so easy. He truly is giving such a wonderful performance. It acting of everyone is just wonderful as they all really make the movie click wonderfully.
This is usually not the case with Akira Kurosawa, but Throne of Blood reflects more of a formalistic style of direction. Akira Kurosawa crafts out with mixing of many elements such a marvelous picture that may play differently than many of his movies of this period. It has many long takes and many other marvelous shots that captures such a wonderful Cinematography which is done by the marvelous Asakazu Nakai whom captures any element so perfectly on camera. The musical score by Masaru Satô is a delightful. It has so many other amazing elements that all come together to craft out such wonderful epic movie. Kurosawa has fashioned another samurai masterpiece.
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