The timeless story is about a small peasant village, which undergoes regular attacks by bandits. The villagers decide to do something about it, so they consult a wise elder, who tells them that they need samurai to fight off the bandits. They look around the village for samurai, and find a very experienced, good hearted one, who agrees to find some more samurai from another village. He recruits six, and the villagers befriend the samurai, and the samurai provide the villagers with small meals each day, before they battle against a group of over forty bandits.
Most action movies rely purely on visceral energy and external action, but Seven Samurai has both this and memorable characters, believable performances, a gripping story, great dialogue and just the right amount of humour. The action scenes are first-rate, Kurosawa's use of slow-motion is excellent, but one of the best scenes of the film is the one when all the villagers are running frantically as a false bandit attack warning is given. Kurosawa's cross-cuts between each of the villagers running through the fields is stunning in that scene, and gives a rather quiet scene an action-packed feel. The cinematography is beautiful, particularly in the scenes in the woods. There is a lot of humour in the film, and it is very well used. The art direction, music and sound are also excellent. Actually, there's no point in going through the strengths of this film, as every aspect is equally perfect.
I can't recommend Seven Samurai highly enough. However, I'll just say that if you haven't seen it yet, it's the greatest film you've never seen.
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