i think of this as ran version .5. they’re both shakespearean (ran is based on king lear, this is an original story). the film is partially told through the eyes of three spies which is somewhat similar to hidden fortress which is told through the eyes of two peasants (an element lucas stole for star wars). i honestly didn’t really love this film, which is too bad since i like kurosawa so much. it certainly has some interesting elements and some good moments, but i felt it was a bit long and the story it told just wasn’t as compelling as some of his other long features. though i found the double to be a sympathetic character, i didn’t have the same sympathy as i did with shimura’s character in ikiru or mifune’s character in yojimbo or either character in dersu uzala. ran is a better film in almost every way that you just may as well watch that instead.