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Goyokin 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw Goyokin for the first time at a small art theater that was running a weekend of samurai films. I had seen the big ones, the Kurasawa's of course and a few others, but Goyokin was, and is, a revelation. Unlike most samurai films wherein the tragedy comes from obeying the rules against your heart's desire or your own personal morality, in Goyokin, the hero has made the choice to be his own man and follow his own beliefs, a harder and more heroic stance. The rest of his clan has slaughtered a village and robbed a ship of the Imperial treasury, carrying the "official gold" of the title, forcing the conscience stricken samurai to abandon his wife and family and set off on his own. When he gets word that they are going to repeat their crime, he must face and defeat them to save the lives of innocent people. Along his way, he meets the lone survivor of the original village, now a con-woman, and a government spy who become his allies. The performances are great. The hero is noble and three-dimensional, and the main villain is ruthless, smart, and sympathetic. The action sequences are exciting and inventive, with the final, snow-blown battle and an earlier one in a burning house being my favorites in the genre. Perhaps most unusual for this type of film, the hero seems to have genuine affection for his wife, and their brief scene together is moving and adds a real sense of identity to characters which are all too often cyphers, if not non-existent. A great film for fans of samurai films, and for those who havent't enjoyed the genre much before.