Seven Samurai-1954 film review, one of the 100 best films of the 100 years.

Seven Samurai: A 1954 Film That Still Resonates Today

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 11:32 pm

Seven Samurai is a 1954 Japanese epic film. Directed by Akira Kurosawa, the film takes place in the 16th century and tells the story of a small village that is regularly attacked by bandits. In an effort to protect themselves, the villagers hire a group of seven unemployed samurai to help defend their village. The film has been influential in the development of the samurai genre and has been remade and adapted several times in various forms, including The Magnificent Seven (1960) in Hollywood.

Despite their differences, the seven samurai come together to defend the village against the bandit attack. The final battle is intense and brutal, and the villagers and samurai suffer heavy casualties. In the end, only a few of the samurai survive, but they have successfully defended the village and given the villagers a chance to rebuild. Seven Samurai is considered one of the greatest films ever made and is known for its epic battle scenes, complex characters, and powerful themes of sacrifice and honour.

The seven samurai are led by Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura), an experienced and respected warrior who agrees to help the villagers. Along with Kambei, the group includes the young and impulsive Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune), the skilled swordsman Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi), and the wise and calm Heihachi (Minoru Chiaki). And it is a story about the love between a farmer girl and a young novice samurai. It is one of the 100 best films of 100 years to watch.

Acted by Keiko Tsushima, Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Yukiko Shimazaki and others, Seven Samura or 7 Samurai is one of the remarkable Japanese films directed by its prominent director Akira Kurosawa, who directed at least 30 films. It is the 17th of the 100 greatest films of all time by the British Film Institute.

Storyline

After WWII, a gang of bandits of forty would raid the village of peaceful farmers during the harvesting season and loot their barley and rice. They would as well, take their beautiful girls and women away leaving many dead.

One day the gang of bandits came riding horses but saw that the crops were not yet harvested, and left to come back later on when harvested. Overheard from afar while collecting kindling, a farmer went back to the village to report to the elders about the gang’s return after the crop is harvested. Villagers sobbed and panicked and were crying out for the protection of their crops and lives.

The Old Man, the Chief of the village, suggested that they should hire samurai to fight for them. In return, the villagers will have to feed them with rice. Rice is essential, rice is life and with rice, life can be controlled. The Old Man told them to search for hungry samurais.

A few farmers went to the town in search of samurais. Unable to convince, they went to a veteran samurai who agreed to fight for the farmer. He decided that he needs six of them and was able to collect other experienced samurai who agreed to fight under his command, not for glory or rank, but for food only.

With the other six, the Shimada (Takashi Shimura ) built protective defences on every possible entrance keeping one entrance accessible for the bandits. They then trained villagers and showed them how to stand against the looters with spears and stayed on guard with their posts day and night.

Isao Kimura and Keiko Tsushima in Seven Samurai (1954)
Isao Kimura and Keiko Tsushima in Seven Samurai -1954

During petrol with the other samurais, Katsushiro (Isao Kimura) playfully fell behind, bemused by the beauty of nature— thousands of bush flowers, grass and woods—and plucked a flower and laid down amid flowers and started pondering. Suddenly, he heard footsteps in the tranquillity of the woods and was on his feet immediately. Alarmed, he walked through the woods and found out that the fleeting figure was a man with a bunch of flowers in his hands.

Infuriated to see an able man not carrying any arm in such an unsafe place he chased him down to the ground but fell back as he realised that ‘man’ was actually a woman with stunning beauty. Katsushiro fell in love with the desperate woman, Shino (Keiko Tsushima), was looking for rice for her aged grandmother.

Her farmer father cut-off Shino’s beautiful hair and made her dress like a man before the samurais arrived in the village to protect her from the eyes of Samurais. Many of the villagers hid their beautiful daughters somewhere in secret places. He later was very distraught to find her with the young samurai Katsushiro the night before the day of the final battle with the gang of bandits to free the farmers. She was so humiliated that she did not seem to associate with him after that.

The battle broke out between the samurais and the bandits four times. They had lost two of their companions the day before their victory, killing twenty-seven bandits. On the last day of their fight with bandits, they lost two more of their samurai friends: Shimada,

Shichiroji and the young samurai Katsushiro survived to see the victory they earned for the farmers. After the battle, Shimada and Shichiroji said to each other, “Once more we survived”. “In the end, we lost this battle too”, said Shimada to Shichiroji. “I mean, the victory belongs to those peasants. Not to us”. Relieved, the two men meticulously observed the happy framers rowing, singing and dancing with happiness, after all.

Keiko Tsushima in Seven Samurai
Beautiful Keiko Tsushima as Shino in Seven Samurai-1954

Seven Samurai quotes

“Sometimes, we just need some people who would put their lives in the protection of weaklings from their usurper that might be a person, a group of people, or a state.”

Food is important and needs to be protected and produced for survival in any circumstances.

Seven Samurai movie qoutes.

“Love cannot be a good idea for the people of duty”, for “love is the death of duty” (from the Games of Thrones).

“Even kids can be a charmer in their dreams.”

“Even bears come down from the mountains when they’re hungry.”

When you think you’re safe is precisely when you’re most vulnerable. Defence is more difficult than offense.

Seven Samurai movie qoutes.

“I wish I’d been born into a samurai family”, Shino to Katsushiro.

“A farmer’s life is too cruel. My life has been so easy, I’m ashamed.” Katsushiro to Shino.

“Every great castle needs a breach. Draw the enemy there and attack. You can’t win by defence alone.”

“There’s nothing heroic about selfishly grabbing for glory.”

Seven Samurai qoutes

“What’s wrong with two people in love? It’s not like bandits took her!” “Once more we survive”.

Seven Samurai-1954 can be a great choice for you to watch and to take a journey back to the past time of Japanese magnificence.


Rating: 9 out of 10.
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Romzanul Islam

Thinking out of the convention and moving forward with knowledge and reasons are always my styles. Researching, watching the best films, and reading and collecting the best books to enrich me is my deadly passion. Stoicism, liberalism, feminism and aversion to material success are my ideals.

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