Comparison of Meanings in Films: The Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa

The Rashomon is a psychological thriller directed by Akira Kurosawa. The Rashomon‘s referral meaning can be described as the following: a woodcutter and a cleric are situated underneath the impressive entryway into the city of Rashomon as a implies of security against the rain when a common show up. He joins them underneath the door, and the two promptly dispatch into telling him approximately the troubling story they see. The woodcutter found the body of a killed samurai three days back, and the cleric affirms having seen the samurai traveling with his spouse prior that day. The woodcutter and the cleric were summoned to court to bear witness, and the police arrive with an outlaw in guardianship who had confessed to the kill (Rashomon). This surrounding gadget clears the way for flashbacks that donate each member a chance to offer their subjective adaptation of what took place. The whole film is followed by heavy rains, which, in my opinion, contain the implicit meaning of the picture. The rain gives the story a bleak feel, pouring down wretchedness on the characters, and acts as the fundamental reason the worker wanders upstairs. The stormy climate hangs over the occasions of the story, working as an image for the more significant calamities driving the characters to turn to burglary.

As for the symptomatic meaning of Rashomon, I think that the main idea and issue considered in the picture is the lie of the apparent truth. Some people had ever spent an entire movie being lied to, truth and Rashomon became inextricably linked. People preferred the sensation of the deception since they were accustomed to receiving the truth.


Breathless is the debut film by Jean-Luc Godard, one of France’s first iconic new wave films, when directors were moving away from predictability and habitual filming traditions. The film tells the story of the adventures of Michel, a young criminal who stole a car and killed a police officer. The plot focuses on two main characters – Michelle and Patricia – a girl who helps the criminal hide and begins to participate in his dark affairs. However, Patricia’s conscience prevails in the end, and she turns him over to the police and confesses it to him (Breathless). Love outside the law, love that gives strength to constantly hide, plunging into the abyss of crime – the film’s central theme, which is suggestive. The viewer has to always decide for himself how they would act in this situation. Even though Michelle is a dangerous criminal, and Patricia begins to assist him, the viewer still worries about the couple in love. The director shows that love built on evil and deception cannot end happily for all its strength.

In the final dialogue, the director uses a word-play technique that can only be caught in the original language. This moment reveals the full depth of the film, leaving questions about what Michelle had in mind with his last phrase and how Patricia reacted to it. The confusion of feelings, such as love, conscience, duty, and fear, will never leave a person indifferent, depriving him of the opportunity to make unambiguous decisions.

The film’s symptomatic meaning reflects the spirit of the 50s and 60s of France. The post-war period, the moment of stagnation, problems with employment affect young people, forcing them to live a meaningless life. Thought finds its shelter in the denial of everything around, in other words, in nihilism. Michelle rejects even death in the last scene. At the same time, Patricia is attracted by his freedom of spirit but, on the other hand, leaves him, eventually turning him over to the police.


As for the plot, both films are far from each other, but the gloom of colors and a heavy burden on the conscience of the heroes are similar features. Asian culture, presented in the shell of a thriller, only partially resembles the European mood of the drama Breathless. Nevertheless, explicit meaning in both works can be linked to a single thought at the global level. In Rashomon, we see the lodge fight the truth, which ultimately wins by stopping the rain. In Breathless, truth also wins, but they lie in this film is replaced with a crime before the law. Justice triumphs, however, the life of the killed samurai and policeman cannot be returned, and this victory of justice carries a smack of bitterness. Michelle pays with her life for taking another person’s life, and Patricia – for her fleeting hobbies dictated by desire, not common sense.

The implicit meaning of both paintings leaves the viewer with many questions but nevertheless calls for the truth since only she can stop the rain and torment of conscience. The possibility of easy money creates irresistible temptations for the heroes of both films, but these works teach that everything easy must pay off, sometimes even with your own life. Social ideology shows the culture of that time, how easily, and sometimes forcedly, one had to succumb to crimes, and how criminals could create a false idea of freedom and truth in the eyes of an ordinary person. However, regardless of culture, time, and place of events, directors agree on their ideas about how difficult the situation may be; the truth always prevails over fear, temptation, and conscience, even if it is terrible and impartial.

Works Cited

Godard, Jean-Luc, director. Breathless. UGC, 1960.

Kurosawa, Akira, director. Rashomon. Daiei Film, 1950.

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StudyStroll. "Comparison of Meanings in Films: The Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa." July 18, 2022.


StudyStroll. 2022. "Comparison of Meanings in Films: The Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa." July 18, 2022.


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