YMMV / Rashomon

  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The jungle beat as the woodcutter struts through the forest.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Tajōmaru, and this is in a film that encourages Alternate Character Interpretation. However, people can Take a Third Option and find him gross, pathetic and sexy.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Tajomaruís demeanor in court and during his flashback is very jarring―itís not even scary, just unnatural, with his unnatural bursts of laughter and awkward body language. Thatís probably because heís lying, and heís just pretending to be a big-shot bandit.
    • We are meant to think the woodcutter is lying about his story because he stole the dagger. But if what he says about having six other children to feed aside from the abandoned infant is true, he could easily be interpreted as stealing the costly dagger to make ends meet. And all the other aspects of the story could very well be true.
    • Why was the supposed actual fight between Tajomaru and the man so pathetic? If you look at each of the stories, both men paint each other in a positive light. Tajomaru interprets the man as willing to fight for the hand of his woman, while the man forgives Tajomaru for all he'd done and interprets him nobly and refusing to kill the man.
    • If the wife claims she was raped, why did she have to go through all the trouble to protect Tajomaru in court, and confess to the murder of her own husband? It could be possible that the sex was consensual, and she was ashamed to confess her own infidelity.
  • Funny Moments: The woodcutter's account of the husband and Tajomaru's fight has them in a clumsy brawl, with them jamming their swords into the sides of things and wrestling each other to the ground.
    • When a commoner stops for shelter underneath Rashomon Gate, he grows curious about why the priest and woodcutter are so disturbed. The priest begins his story with an existential speech about the nature of man and his compulsion to lie. Then we get this line from the commoner:
    Commoner: I wanted a story, not one of your sermons!
  • Evil is Sexy: Tajomaru. It's a rugged Toshiro Mifune in skimpy clothing. He's especially sexy at the beginning of his story.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Even though it has been somewhat Vindicated by History, it's still considered one of Kurosawa's weaker films in its native land. The funny thing is that the Japanese can't agree on why Westerners love it so much. Half think they're just impressed by its exoticism, while others claim the complete reverse, that it's too Americanized. They generally point out that the film waters down the original short story In the Grove with a sentimental coda and framing device rather than leaving it up to the viewer to figure out the truth, and the film is quite a bit more vague in its period setting, whereas earlier Jidai Geki tended to be more precise regarding the period.
  • Moe: The priest, played by the adorable Minoru Chiaki.
  • Out of the Ghetto: Rashomon is generally considered the first film that introduced the concept of world cinema. Before movies meant America or they meant Europe. That film industries existed in India, Japan, and China was known intellectually but neither critics, distributors, or the general audience (both international and local) believed there was an audience for such works in the west. Rashomon broke that barrier and opened the doors for cinema from India, Africa, and South America, and made cinema the first international art-form and is considered to inaugurate the arthouse era.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • Played straight and averted. The premise of multiple flashbacks has been used countless times. It has been subjected to Mainstream Obscurity as well, as people don't know the story itself.
    • At the time the film was made, it was generally considered that dream sequences excepted, what we see on screen actually happened. Anything characters just talk about could later be revealed as false, but if you actually see it onscreen, then it's a true part of the story. This film along with Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright and Frederick De Cordova's The Gal Who Took The West challenged that (and even Hitchcock regretted that gimmick in light of Stage Fright).
  • Values Dissonance: The dead man seems to forgive Tajomaru for raping his wife and interprets him with some moral virtue, and in the woodcutter's story he slut shames her instead of standing up for her. Even in the wife's story he looks at her with noticable scorn.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Rashomon