Kurosawa's Ran is an adoption of King Lear play which was written by Shakespeare. The film Ran starts in a similar way as Lord Hidetora Ichimonji behaves in a similar manner like Lear. The play basically depicts the fall of the lord. As ichimonji courts are out for a hunt he decides to bestow his lordship to his sons who were three. He equally divides his possession besides land amongst his three sons. He hands his powers to the oldest son against the wishes of his faithful nobles and younger son. Besides ignoring their concern Ichimonji expels his faithful noble and younger son because he thinks that their concern is disrespectful. The actions of Hidetora led to his downfall besides the downfall of those around him. This film is an adoption of Shakespeare's King Lear's play because it has similar themes to those of Shakespeare. Besides that the Ran film greatly emphasizes the same concepts that were stressed by Shakespeare, for instance, responsible leadership, automatic system ironies besides hypocrisies (Kurosawa and Cardullo 134).One thing which is very clear in this film is its great exploration of war though it's not among the main themes. The theme of war is exclusively explored in the film. Besides that the author exclusively demonstrates the damaging repercussions of conflict as a paradoxical beauty. In the film the author employs his masterful skills in implementation of the camera which is almost comparable to present day photography. The film director reveals a great understanding of the films history and past. In spite of this great awareness he goes further and explores creative spontaneity which is a reflection of true genius. In the film, Kurosawa explores Eisenstein complex montage by employing simple methodologies. The film was produced in a way that allows the masterpiece to flow without any interruptions revealing the transition from a peaceful scene to a Shakespearean bloody heart.The films background and plotThe film is a clear illustration of relentless terminal power lust, murders, and pervasive wars besides betrayal of the father by the sons whom he trusted very much. Basically the entire film narrates a story about the fall of a powerful Ichimonji clan after the holder's decision to pass his powers to his three sons. Kurosawa got the ideas in the film after reading about a famous man by the name Motonari who had three talented and incredibly trustworthy sons. The author did not realize the similarity between his work and that of Shakespeare until the time of pre-planning. The author clearly admits that his film and Shakespeare's play merged in a manner that is beyond his imagination and explanation. Some analysts' argue that Shakespeare's life is reflected in his plays just like Kurosawa's life in the film Ran (Kurosawa and Cardullo 134).Similarities between King Lear and Ran
Despite the fact that other times Kurosawa said that his film was not an indirect adaptation of Shakespeare's plays; he clearly incorporated some of King Lear's elements into his work. Besides that Shakespeare never gave the past of his characters a concept which was handled differently in Ran because the history of the characters was given. Shakespeare's play and Kurosawa's film follows the same trend. For instance, their works takes the trend of an old warlord who foolishly decides to share his kingdom and lordship among his children. King Lear was based on three daughters who received powers and inheritance from their father while Ran tells a story of three sons who receives an equally share of their fathers kingdom. The sons of Hidetora in the film Ran were Saburi, Jiro and Taro, in Shakespeare's play the daughter who received kingdom inheritance included Cordelia, Goneril and finally Regan.In Shakespeare's King Lear and Kurosawa's Ran it's evident that any opposing force was eliminated for instance people who failed to agree with the made decisions were banished. Cordelia and Earl of Kent are expelled in King Lear's play for going against the orders of the warlord. On the other hand Saburo and Tango are expelled by Hidetora for advising him on his declared decisions. Resistance to advice and the repulsive reaction in both plays is a clear reflection of pride. Both Lear and Ran follow the same direction as far as conflict is concerned. For instance the lord receives support from the third child while the remaining two children rebels against him. The only slight difference is the merciless actions of Hidetora's sons when compared to the rebellious sons in King Lear. The ending of the two plays is very similar because the whole family dies including their Lords (Jackson 14).The differences between the two playsDespite the great similarities between the two there are also some significant differences. For instance Shakespeare's play is mainly about unfair suffering of the lord who seemingly takes the character of a fool. On the other hand the lord in Ran is a man who was considered to be cruel in his entire life. Hidetora's cruel character is seen when he merciless kill people as the only way of accomplishing his plans. For instance there are three women in the novel who lost their lives at the hands of Hidetora a clear contradiction of Gloucester in Lear whose eyes were removed out by his enemies. On addition to that Hidetora was sexually vague on addition to that the author of the film went further and created a character that was specifically meant to portray stupidity and foolishness; this was something that was lacking in Shakespeare's play. The author also developed a character that was directly opposite of Kyoami though other people may say that he was a reflection of Shakespeare's Goneril. Lady Kaede was a very complicated woman and she held a very great role in the film.In Ran the true nature of war is brought to manifestation for instance Hidetora is not allowed to become the majestic hero and as a result the reality of war is made manifest. Its takes common sense to realize than three sons are much better than three daughters involved in war. Besides that Kurosawa film is well and methodically developed far better than Shakespeare's King Lear. For these reasons Kurosawa's Ran is an advanced adoption of Shakespeare's King Lear; Lear seems like a good base for Ran. The structure and construction of Ran makes it a better film than King Lear besides these factors Kurosawa laid his film within the required restraints making it somehow different though it still remained a successful counterpart for King Lear (Jackson 14).
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It's evident that the actions of King Lear disqualify him as a hero because a hero needs to to understand the happenings without much trouble. For instance his failure to read the resentment in miss Cordelia clearly disqualifies him therefore its not right to foolishly consider him as a good straight-up person. Some critics think that Ran is a creative and imaginative reconstruction of Shakespeare's Lear though it can never replace it. Shakespeare's play is basically based upon a Britain's legend by the name Leir. The king in Shakespeare's work allocates his estate on the basis of flattery. Despite the relationship between the two plays Kurosawa shows great understanding and insights when he creates his own poetry of Shakespeare's works.The complexities in the two literal worksThe complex relation between the two literal works is widened by the differential medium, time span and different locations. Therefore the easy way of adapting Ran as an adoption of King Lear is by comparing the used structure as well as character function arrangement. Other writers who adopted Shakespeare's work did it much differently from what Kurosawa explored. For instance Kurosawa's Ran; the camera is an inexpressive observer who is at a distant. The location of the camera in Ran symbolizes physical separation which clearly correlates with emotional separation that allows Kurosawa to develop an effective plot that merges with the characters in Shakespeare's works. A change of focus occurs as a result of the position of the camera which is only made clear at the end of the film. Therefore Kurosawa's Lear unveils the conflict just like his counterpart in Shakespeare's King Lear by distributing his kingdom among his son's though he does not remain the main focus because he takes the side of an equation which has been well balanced (Hoile 29).Things are much different in King Lear because he fails to fully experience the real wickedness which he unbound. Besides that the film reveals Lear in an ironic manner rather than the anticipated tragic way. On addition to that the main man is not the only important person because other great roles are played by the rebellious and respective sons. Another distinguishing factor is that Shakespeare does not give his audience the opportunity to know the underlying issues which are making characters to behave in the given way because the only thing that the audiences are given is a clue about the relationship among the actors. Therefore the basic foundation of Shakespeare play is the relationships between the actors, for instance husband, wife, children and servants. This fabric foundation is not effective in helping one understand the unleashed scenes (Hoile 29).This simple introduction was found wanting by many writers who adapted Shakespeare's literal work. Kurosawa was not left out in these critics and as a result he adopted a dialogue which is almost free like from his film the throne of blood. Therefore Shakespeare's works differs with that of Kurosawa at the beginning because of the much dialogue which was added with the objective of creating the films background. This is an element which is completely absent in Shakespeare's King Lear play. Therefore the parallel plot which was used by Shakespeare was revengefully employed by Kurosawa. Besides these differences the major plotline behind the two films is similar. On addition to that there are parallel characters in both Shakespeare's work and Kurosawa works as well as similar themes. In both stories the mistake of dividing the kingdom among the lord is pointed out by the younger member of the esteemed family and as a result these children are expelled by their fathers.It's beyond doubt that Kurosawa's Ran is an adoption of Shakespeare's king Lear. The actions of Goneril and Regan in Shakespeare's work reveals the potential of a woman transforming into an evil being and the same is seen when Giro is manipulated by Kaede in Run. Malevolence which is evident in Kaede is as a result of the normal abuse under Hidetora and in the other play Goneril and Regan are bitter persons because of the harsh treatment which they are subjected to by their father. Despite the fact that Hidetora does not love his sons unfairly there are other many aspects of the Ran that shows a clear adoption from King Lear. Therefore the differences between the two plays were exploited by Kurosawa as a means of providing a perfect blend of his work and that of Shakespeare.
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