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In the film, Rashomon, you can see how important a person`s version of an event (perspecitive) can be in determining what has happened. why does the director choose to show you the different versions through the eyes of each character? what effect does th

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in art, movies

Akira Kurosawa ‘s Rashomon : an Analysis and Reaction

Rashomon , a movie by Japanese director Akira Kurosawa set in feudal Japan , tells the story of the events that led to the death of a samurai in the woods . It is told four times from the perspective of four different characters , with each version story wildly differing from the others . Each of the stories apparently have embellished facts , in what is apparently the teller ‘s effort to cast himself /herself in a good light . Through the different character ‘s very different versions of the [banner_entry_middle]

events that led to the samurai ‘s death , Kurosawa effectively demonstrates the fickleness of human nature ‘s handling of the truth when their ego is at stake

In the different versions of the characters , it is obvious that they were ‘image-conscious their priority was not the truth , but the preservation of their pride and self-image . Each one ‘s version of the story was the most flattering to himself /herself . For example , the woodcutter , not being a direct participant in the events , would have been expected to provide his audience with an objective account , but his objectivity is proven to be uncertain . He hides much of his true knowledge of the events for a blatantly self-centered reason – apparently he stole the valuable pearl-encrusted dagger that (may have killed the samurai . The case is similar for the others : the bandit , who speaks of himself as so seductive as to sexually attract the woman he intends to rape the samurai ‘s wife , who portrays herself as the good and proper wife wronged by both bandit and husband the samurai , who kills himself ‘honorably ‘ – all of their versions are evidence of the truth-corrupting human desire for appreciation

Aside from the film ‘s common theme of ego-corrupted truth , each character ‘s version imparts its own effect , based on each one ‘s particular egotistical concerns . The bandit ‘s story smacks of his own sense of machismo , and the woman ‘s story of the reverse – her need to portray herself as the epitome of feminine propriety . I am reminded by their accounts of sometimes-overwhelming and always-inescapable social constructs , such as the gender roles that are always in play in modern society , roles that ultimately hamper the truth as well . And in the samurai ‘s version , what struck me was his need to appear so innocent and wronged , a need all too common among humans

Overall , the unveiling of the different perspectives has the effect of making me ponder on the concept of truth and how problematic the search for truth is , particularly as it is handled by the fragile human ego . As Kurosawa wrote “Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing ” The drive for self-preservation is in human nature , and this drive goes to the extent of self-deception . The “lies to make them feel they are better people than they really are ” are all too common , and Kurosawa succeeds very well in his intent of illustrating this human frailty

The saying that “there are three sides to every story : yours , mine , and the truth ” finds vindication in this film . As the viewer there is a ‘shock of recognition ‘ upon witnessing Kurosawa ‘s depiction of man ‘s overwhelming need to be appreciated . Each character ‘s story gives a glimpse of truth – that is , the true nature of human beings . Our great weakness is not our need for cold , objective truth , but our need for appreciation . In the words of the priest “It ‘s because men are weak that they lie , even to themselves … [banner_entry_footer]

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