The intention of Yojimbo- Part II

Yojimbo begins with short scene which serves to characterize the protagonist and, also, presents the film’s theme. The dusty road, the protagonist’s walk, the way he lets the wind decide the direction he heads. There is civic disorder– father against son, neighbor against neighbor. There is an utter breakdown of traditional society!

Our hero stops by a running boy whose parents try to stop him. The boy tells his father that a doesn’t want to stay home eating rice-gruel. He wants to run away for adventure. The film ends with the boy perhaps getting killed and our protagonist saying, to no one in particular- “Yes, a long life eating rice-gruel is the best”. The film is the most stylish one Kurosawa has made ever, and hence, the targeted audience of the film is young, unlike other Kurosawa films. The message to the young generation is loud and clear- social anarchy is not going to lead a community anywhere.

As discussed earlier, in Yojimbo, our protagonist has been deliberately monstrous as anyone else in the setup. In-spite of this, his role is like that of a god in Greek plays. He descends, puts an end to evil and ascends again! However, our protagonist is only human. And like any human, he too faces the quintessential problem. It is impossible for him to stay uninvolved with other humans and at the same time, it is almost impossible to be enough involved. The protagonist is eventually caught off-balance. All of these puts us in an awkward situation. We can do nothing but laugh. And hence, in this film, Kurowasa is in his philosophical heights, and this film proves to be one of the greatest dark comedies ever committed on celluloid!


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