Nothing prepared me for the laughter and all-around entertainment offered by this film. The writer, director and actors manage to have fun with icons of Japanese society (e.g., a card shark priest, an honest bureaucrat who has never visited a brothel, a noble peasant, etc.,) while maintaining a good pace with the swordplay and forward movement of the story line. Nakadai is brilliant as the "been there, done that" samurai, who reveals much of the story's insanity to us through whispered comments and observations. Viewers might need a scorecard to keep track of all the double-crossing and back-firing that takes places, but Kiru is tremendous fun from beginning to end. And it's the only movie I've seen with the ugliest chicken in the world serving as a leitmotiv.
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