“Seven Samurai” begins when a man overhears bandits planning an attack on his village. The man returns to his village and informs all the farmers of what he has just heard. The farmers then turn to the one they trust most, Granddad. Granddad tells the farmers to hire hungry samurai, because if they are hungry, they won’t require much payment. After a somewhat long, tedious (maybe it only seems that way because the movie is long?) search, six samurai (and one oddball) are brought together to save the village from the bandits’ attack.
The samurai spend lots and lots of time planning their defense against the bandits. They all prepare their attack methods and also prepare the village with a moat built around it to keep the bandits out. However, they leave one opening so the bandits can come in little by little and will be killed off slowly.
When the bandits finally do attack, the samurai’s plan works well. Some samurai are lost in the battle, but the bandits are all killed. However, the samurai believe that they are not the ones who won, but rather, the farmers are the ones who won.
“Seven Samurai” was an interesting film. Like usual, I was skeptical because of the length and the fact that I had to read subtitles. This time, however, my skepticism wasn’t dispelled at the start of the movie. I couldn’t, for the life of me, bring myself to concentrate fully. I do think that I was able to grasp all of the key points, though.
Kenneth Turan wrote an article about the length of the film, titled “The Hours and Times: Kurosawa and the Art of Epic Storytelling.” In the article, he writes of how the length of the film is not only beneficial, but necessary for the film. I understand why he feels this way. He makes a great point when he states, “It allows us to observe each of ‘Seven Samurai’s’ many characters in the round, from every angle, to view them as individuals with their own back stories, philosophies, martial-arts skills, and reasons for being there.” I understand the point that he’s making because you do get to understand who each of the characters are. However, I just don’t really have any sort of desire (or attention span) to watch a movie that lasts so long. Like Turan stated, “And the New York Times’s august Bosley Crowther did content that ‘it is much too long for comfort or for the story it has to tell.’” I will admit, it was an enjoyable movie, but I won’t be watching it again any time soon...or ever.