Kagemusha (1980)



Akira Kurosawa directs Tatsuya Nakadai, Tsutomu Yamazaki and Ken’ichi Hagiwara in this medieval Japanese film where a warlord replaces himself with a lookalike thief to keep his clan united and at peace after his death. 

All the formal brilliance of a Kurosawa movie but with the bold and unrestrained use of colour. Dreams are like wet paint, sunlight is marched through, battles are like domino rallies. Tatsuya Nakadai is brilliant as the petty thief trying to fill the void of a great man without losing his own sense of self. The only drawback is as spectacular as the final battle is, Tatsuya Nakadai is sidelined from it. Meaning for all its hour long scale and magnificence, it has no protagonist.



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