Wow. That was a great movie.
It was epic. It was beautiful. It was tragic. It was also lengthy (2 hours, 40 minutes). It was well worth the viewing. I was tipped off to it via a review on Reel Reviews Radio, and I'm really glad I added it to my NetFlix queue. I've never read King Lear, and was not previously familiar with the story. yarbiedoll says that the movie was a pretty good adaptation. After watching the film, I lamented the fact that there aren't enough tragedies in modern movie-making anymore. People want to walk away from the movies feeling good -- they want comedies, heros, action/adventure, etc. I think a well-done tragedy is a much more enjoyable experience in the long term, though -- it's the kind of story that really sticks with you.
I was also really impressed with they way the film was put together. It's the first Akira Kurosawa film I've seen. After watching this one, I'm hungry for more and went ahead and moved The Seven Samurai up on my NetFlix queue. I've been meaning to watch that one for years -- I think I'm finally going to watch it sometime in the next several weeks.
Anyway, I highly recommend Ran.