Dissolution of Unity and Circumstance in Seven Samurai

Topics: Seven Samurai, Akira Kurosawa, Toshirō Mifune Pages: 4 (1583 words) Published: April 8, 2013
As a Japanese film, Seven Samurai (1954) directed by Akira Kurosawa is based upon circumstance; it is interested in what surrounds the human being and how ones circumstance is powerful in the portrayal of the film over the characters lives. “Circumstance unites man: the farmers with one another, just so the samurai, just so the bandits.” (Cardullo). It is through all of these circumstances that our narrative forms and the plot moves forward. The farmers unite with one another to try and find a solution to the knowledge bandits are going to come after them for their crops again, the samurai unite to protect the villagers, and the bandits to overtake the village. The first thought at the end of the movie is that these classes cross bridges and unite together, but that is not the case. In the final scene of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai it starts with a medium close up of the last three living samurai out of the starting seven. In the foreground stands Kambei Shimada, our samurai who led the entire village with the other six samurai by his side. Standing slight behind him is Shichirōji, his lieutenant. And further behind Shichirōji is Okamoto, the youngest of the samurai, and Kambei’s disciple. Kurosawa was purposefully blocking these characters in their order of skill and authority. After getting a medium close up stationed overhead a villager pounding a drum, and setting the pace for planting new crops for the next season there is a cut back to the previous shot. Kambei lowers his head and turns away from the villagers so he can no longer view them planting. As Kambei walks off screen and away from the villagers, you get the sense by his posture that he’s not only turning his back on the scene, but on the villagers themselves. Kambei does not seem as inclined or interested in the villagers anymore, breaking the sense of unity that was shared during those final battles. The other two samurai are confused, but wordlessly follow him. Okamoto is hardly ready...
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