When people think of Akira Kurosawa or his films, they think about epic samurai battles and larger than life characters. One of Kurosawa’s best known epic films, Ran, takes place in medieval Japan and depicts the violent and tragic end of the Ichimonji clan. Ran, itself, is based both on a Japaneselegend about Mori Motonari (a daimyo) and William Shakespeare’s King Lear. Kurosawa does not simply follow King Lear’s plot, but instead adds to it byelaborating on Lear’s (Hidetora) past and the addition of the powerful character of Lady Kaede (played wonderfully by Mieko Harada). Ultimately, it isKurosawa’s chaotic and violent battle scenes that help bring Shakespeare’stragic vision of King Lear to life by showing how revenge and bloodshed lead tothe end of Lord Hidetora (King Lear) and his family.
ETA: One of Kurosawa’s best films and has one of his best female characters, Lady Kaeda.