Akira Kurosawa’s cult Japanese movie ‘Rashomon’ (1950) paved the way for a witty and revolutionary storytelling technique in the world of cinema. It exhibited several self-demonstrated contradictory truths of the same event through different characters as per their perceptions and aspirations. It focuses on an unscientific theory – ‘the truth revolves in the 360’. Every character has his/her own angle of truth as they look at it through that particular angle. The movie takes us on a journey of the same route with a new partner each time to provide a different experience. The following is the list of movies similar to Rashomon experience that are our recommendations. You can watch some of these movies like Rashomon on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. Elephant (2003)
The mystery-drama is written and directed by Gus Van Sant. Two students, Alex and Eric conduct a massacre by shooting many students, teachers and the principal in their school as a revenge. We see the school through the eyes of various students accompanied by their own perception of the school as a happy, inspiring, disturbing, friendly and isolated place. The use of deliberate long shots and following camera at the back of the characters build the tension in the atmosphere of the movie.
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9. The Matrix (1999)
I am listing this sci-fi movie only due to its perception of material reality as the assumed simulated reality of the so-called dream world. Human beings, symbolically, want to live in the dream world and at the same time they reject the harsh reality of its futility. The movie releases an effect that confuses us about reality or the fact or the truth of human existence. It also allegorically plays with our religious and philosophical beliefs. Above all, it is a visual delight too.
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8. Citizen Kane (1941)
This mystery-drama, directed by Orson Welles, finds its place in this list for its experimental narrative technique even before ‘Rashomon’. The death of Charles Kane, the newspaper tycoon, creates a sensation around the world, especially because of his last word ‘Rosebud’. The reporters try to discover its meaning. Here, the word ‘Rosebud’ acts as one of the most discussed literary word ‘Catharsis’ used only once by the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle. A reporter, Thompson, meets some members to find the meaning of the word. Instead, he experiences the rise and the fall of Kane through their information of his past.
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7. Twelve Angry Men (1957)
It is directed by Sidney Lumet. A jury of 12 men is given the charge to stamp the justice by reconsidering the available evidences in discussion by all in a room. It is a case where a young boy is held accused for his father’s murder. Only a unanimous verdict by them can lead the boy towards the death penalty. As the jury members are from the various walks of life, they are associated with various kinds of life experiences and backgrounds. Accordingly, the verdict gets flexible and influenced by the human nature. The jury members try to manipulate or even assume the fact on the basis of their own perceptions and experiences of life. They encounter various dimensions of truth behind the case as well as behind the personality of everyone. When they try to prove the guilt of the boy, their images are also stood in the state of accusation. The screen doesn’t leave the jury room physically for going in the past, but we get compelled to travel in the past mentally with their conversations.
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6. Go (1999)
There are three different viewpoints of an event that happen around the festive season of Christmas. We see a drug deal and its consequences through the eyes of a protagonist girl Ronna, the drug agent Simon and a gay couple Adam and Zack. The suspense in the movie appeals the viewers to be engaged deeply. The director Doug Limen has interlinked these threads with a witty comedy.
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5. Talvar (2015)
Based on the true events of a double murder case of a daughter and a servant, this Meghna Gulzar directed movie takes the audience in the minds of the accused parents, real conspirators, and two different investigating teams. It presents various contrary facets of the same event. Moreover, the storytelling plays with the minds of the audience by putting them at several angles to find the truth behind murder event through the reorganization of past events with various approaches. The first investigating team reaches up to finding the truth, but the new team takes the charge over and presents a scene far removed from reality which presents a chaotic form of truth of the system and the human nature at large.
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4. Gone Girl (2014)
David Fincher tackles 21st Century marriage-life crisis in this psychological thriller. Depressed by losing jobs in recession, the couple struggles to cope up with each other. The wife suddenly disappears and her husband gets accused for her murder. But actually, she is avenging him for his affair with a student and also for isolating her. The movie also exhibits media’s attitude as well as manipulating power towards the truth.
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3. Hero (2002)
A nameless warrior (Jet Li) tells his version of a story where he killed three greatest enemies of the King. The king identifies it as false and tells Nameless his hypothetical version of the events. Actually, the Nameless hero has come to assassinate the king for his tyrannical rule. But eventually, the truth takes an unexpected turn. The Nameless passes a message of unity and peace to the king that he had received from one of the enemies that ultimately united China as a nation. The movie has some great cinematography and music on display too.
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2. Predestination (2014)
The script of this Australian time-travelling thriller is undoubtedly the most complex one to ‘watch’. The director duo – Spierig Brothers – want to suggest that there is something in human life that is definitely inevitable, may be called as ‘fate’ or ‘predestined events’. It is even paradoxical. The characters or the time travelers in the movie strive to stop a bomb blast by going in the past, but their efforts actually result into helping to have it happened. Here, the truth is stranger than the fiction. Shockingly, all the protagonists – Jane, John, Bartender & Fizzle Bomber – are all a single person who travel in time and get trapped with their alternate versions. The storytelling gradually hands us over from one character to another to know their parts.
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1. Vantage Point (2008)
Director Pete Travis showed the incident of an attempt to assassinate the President of America again and again through a multi-angled viewpoint of the characters. Eight different ‘vantage points’ disclose the secret gradually and make the picture of conspiracy complete in the end. Every time, the viewer is expected to look at the same event of attacking the President with a fresh mind and outlook to have the additional or different interpretation of the previous accounts. Finally, these fragments enable the audience to have a perfect picture of truth.
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