In Medieval Japan, an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them and cause them to turn on each other...and him.
After securing a major victory on the battlefield, Taketoti Washizu and one of his commanders, Yoshiaki Miki, find themselves lost in the maze-like Spider's Web forest. They come across a spirit-like seer who tells them of their future: both have been promoted because of their victory that day; Washizu will someday be the Great Lord of the Spider's Web castle while Miki's son will someday rule as Great Lord as well. When they arrive at the castle, they learn that the first part of the prophecy is correct. Washizu has no desire to become Great Lord but his ambitious wife urges him to reconsider. When the current Great Lord makes a surprise visit to his garrison outpost, Washizu is again promoted to commander of his vanguard but his wife reminds him of the danger that comes with the position. As pressure mounts, Wahizu takes action leading to its inevitable conclusion. Written by
In my opinion 'Throne Of Blood' is almost as brilliant as Kurosawa's more celebrated 'Rashomon'. It's almost impossible to fault this brilliant adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. It's the most compelling version of the story I have seen, even better than Polanski's outstanding film of the early 1970s, which until seeing 'Throne Of Blood' was my favourite. Kurosawa is without doubt one of the greatest film makers of all time, and watching this movie is experiencing a master at work. Toshiro Mifune gives another brilliant performance and Isuzu Yamada, who plays his wife (the equivalent of the Lady Macbeth character) is absolutely chilling. The stylized acting combined with the superb cinematography gives this movie a frightening nightmarish feel, yet the characters are always human. This makes it a very powerful and haunting movie. I don't seem to see 'Throne Of Blood' mentioned a lot as one of Kurosawa's best, but I was incredibly impressed by it, and it comes with my highest recommendation. This is a brilliant movie and to call it a masterpiece is no exaggeration.
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