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Analysis of Film Elements in Rashomon

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Table of contents

  1. Framing
  2. Perspectives
  3. Light Versus Dark Contrasts
  4. Conclusion

Rashomon is a Japanese film including a mix of drama from events such as crime. The film took place during the climb of the samurai class. In addition, the movie persuaded Chinese philosophy. Much of the film is wrapped around several character’s perspectives of what had taken place at a moment within the film. The moment being the argument between who told the most honest story about what happened with a bride and the death of her husband. Rashomon used several film elements such as framing, light versus dark dualistic imagery, and perspectivism, to contribute to the overall making of the film.


Framing is the exhibition of visual principles in an illustration, typically in association with the placement of other items. Framing was used in forest scenes with a collection of different types of shots. One shot was the fighting scene between the samurai husband and Tajomaru. In addition, there were shots that only included one character, and shots that displayed the samurai and Tajomaru. These shots serve different roles in which the contribute to the overall style/ form of work. For an example, the shots with one character can begin to build suspense for viewers because it creates suspense for those watching with wonders of what other characters are doing while the fight is taking place. Shots with both characters from an expanded view give viewers an idea of the setting.

Framing was also used in Rashomon in the courtroom scenes. The courtroom scenes serve as questioning for spectators that seen the incident between the samurai husband and bride. This specific element allows multiple points of view to be exhibited which breaks down to different perspectives.


Perspectives were used all through the film. An example of how perspectives were used is in the interrogation scenes where characters gave their own side or “perspective” about what happened between the samurai, the bride, and Tajomaru. These different perspectives help build the film.

Light Versus Dark Contrasts

Light and dark contrast in the film gives a distinction between night and day. In addition, some of the dark scenes have dark settings. For an example, in the opening of the film, the men weren’t the most kept of guys, and lacked proper grooming/ hygiene. Also, the broke down gate, and continuous rain went hand in hand with the dark scene. With the connection, the element helped add to the idea that was being displayed to viewers.


In conclusion, Rashomon used a variety of film elements such as framing, light and dark contrasts, and perspectivism to add to the overall production. The crime and drama in the film benefits from its elements.

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Analysis of Film Elements in Rashomon. (2020, October 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from
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