Throne of Blood Blu-ray Review

     Format: Black & White, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • Release Date: January 7, 2014
  • Run Time: 109 minutes



            The films of Akira Kurosawa offer endless bounty of rewards with repeat viewings and the more historical background is uncovered. His films are like eating an artichoke, finding layer upon layer until the heart is finally revealed. Even those who stop before reaching the center will be satisfied, with skilled filmmaking carrying a classic narrative, though this is no comparison to the delectable morsels at the center.


            It would be easiest to refer to Throne of Blood as Kurosawa’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and knowing only the story of the Scottish King from this tale would be enough to make Throne of Blood entertaining. Kurosawa made the change in setting from eleventh-century Scotland to sixteenth century Japan, recognizing a similarity in the times, but even more significant was the parallel the filmmaker saw in modern times. Rather than simply adapting Shakespeare's masterpiece, Kurosawa uses the play as a launching point, adding layers to the already complex tale of power and greed.