Kurosawa’s retelling of King Lear moves the action to Japan’s “warring era” (16th Century). The transition works surprisingly well, even if the director, being Japanese, does replace the three daughters with three sons.  It’s a demonstration, as if one were needed, that Shakespeare’s stories are so strong they can survive with not one of Shakespeare’s famous words.  The battle scenese are fantastic, the dramatic scenes powerful, and the tale of loss is, if anything, even more affecting in the unfamiliar setting. And if there’s just a little too much violence, and a little too much blood — well, it’s a bloody play.


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