I was not really able to grasp the essence of "In a Grove- and "Rashomon- the first time I read it. It took me a while to really understand what Akutagawa was trying to describe and say. The movie and the stories were simple but at the same time complex. It was simple in a sense that it was short and direct to the point. It was complex because of the manner the stories were told, specifically the story "In a Grove-. There was a central story, which was about a rape of a woman and the murder of her husband. In my opinion, "Rashomon- was a vague story. Although, the message of the story was the clear, the manner in which the story was told was quite vague to me. It was about a ranin who was seeking shelter in Rashomon and finding a woman there stealing the hair of the dead people. The woman justified her actions and using the same principle, the ranin kicked her and stole her belongings.
Kurosawa's Rashomon was based on the combination of Akutagawa's two stories. Kurosawa used parts of both stories to establish the theme of the movie. The beginning of the movie showed the Rashomon gate where some people were seeking shelter from the rain. The people who were there were the woodcutter, the priest, and the commoner. The woodcutter, who was an eyewitness, in the event was very confused about what had happened and the priest was trying to help him. In the movie, there were four witnesses who narrated what they had "seen-. The characters remained the same, but the details are different and yet the same. There are common instances, yet who did what and when was different. Many people watch Rashomon to try to piece the stories together and find a conclusion. They try to determine who are guilty and who are innocent. But, that is not the real objective of the movie. The objective of the movie is much deeper than just trying to figure out who is guilty.
I think that the objective of the movie is much deeper and more profound than just simply knowing or identifying who is guilty.