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|Masatoshi Nagase||Munezo Katagirl|
|Yukiyoshi Ozawa||Yaichiro Hazama|
|Hidetaka Yoshioka||Samon Shimada|
|Reiko Takashima||Hazama's Wife|
|Min Tanaka||Kansai Toda|
|Ken Ogata||Hori, the Shogun|
|Yoji Yamada||Director, Screenwriter|
|Mitsuo Degawa||Art Director|
|Kazumi Kishida||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Kazuko Kurosawa||Costumes/Costume Designer, Sound/Sound Designer|
|Yoshinobu Nishioka||Art Director|
|Junichi Sakamoto||Executive Producer|
|Junichi Sakomoto||Executive Producer|
|Isao Tomita||Score Composer|
If you know this director's earlier movie TWILIGHT SAMURAI, you pretty much know the plot of this one, too. Set in the mid-19th century--a time of transition near the end of the samurai era--a poor but honorable man is ordered to fight his good friend to the death. Some twists make the story new, but it is the details of everyday life and speech, the props and costumes, the sets and scenery, the subplots and the minor characters that make this movie truly memorable. There is beauty and love here everywhere you look. And while the personal corruption of high officials and leaders of the clan reveal how far the social system that had ruled Japan for centuries had fallen from its own ideals, the kindness and self-sacrifice of ordinary people make this time, for all its stiff rigidity and needless suffering, seem worth remembering fondly and with pride. The women in particular are marvelous, not for being lovely objects, but as determined caring human beings. This, I believe is truly Japanese.
There is action, too--though nothing like as much as you often find in Japanese costume epics--just believable combat between two opponents of real but limited skill, who both very much desire to stay alive.
To me, everything about this movie was interesting and convincing.
Posted October 1, 2010
There is only two fight scenes in this movie which may sound surprising for a samurai movie. But unlike many other violent samurai movies, this one has a soul. The protagonist is a regular samurai who follows the samurai law until he is made to duel with his imprisoned friend accused of being a traitor to the clan. Movie is made beautiful and you can't help noticing the beautiful background and the acting of each character is perfect. This is a more realistic samurai movie since the protagonist says he is "afraid to kill" eventhough he trained to defend and kill.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 7, 2008
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