Following World War II, a retired professor, approaching his autumn years, finds his quality of life drastically reduced in war torn Tokyo. Denying despair, he pursues writing and celebrates his birthday with his adoring students.
When a powerful warlord in medieval Japan dies, a poor thief recruited to impersonate him finds difficulty living up to his role and clashes with the spirit of the warlord during turbulent times in the kingdom. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
"Kagemusha" literally translates into English as "double" or "shadow warrior". The movie's title in English speaking territories was subtitled "The Shadow Warrior". See more »
In the final battle there are at least 100 riflemen shown firing their matchlock rifles in volleys. The smoke generated by the matchlocks almost immediately dissipates. This indicates a more modern gunpowder was used in the matchlocks as the historically correct black powder load would blanket the battlefield with thick smoke after a handful of volleys. See more »
[Rainbow appears, causing the advancing Takeda army to halt]
My lord, what do you think that light is that is barring your path?
[Gives it a quick glance]
You're wrong! It is your late father's instructions not to proceed. He's telling you to stay in your domain and guard it. Those were your father's last words. If you do that, nothing can harm us.
Harm? An ominous word. Since the time of our ancestors, the Takeda have never run from a fight.
[Addressing his army]
See more »
After spending a decade (or so) in solitary confinement from the Japanese Film Industry Akira Kurosawa returns to make his semi-masterpiece "Kagemusha", which he called a dress-rehearsal for "Ran", made in 1985.
Kagemusha is, probably, the best example of cinematic overkill where nobody actually cares. Cinematic overkill is when someone constructs a complex multi-layered movie, stage epic-battles, introduce likeable and complex characters without having a very complicated message. The message of "Kagemusha" is simply this: If you pretend long enough to be something else you'll become it. Too simple, maybe, for what's delivered.
Not that "Kagemusha" is a bad movie. It's haunting, it's spectacular and it's just great. I keep thinking about it over and over. I can't get it out of my head. Simply put "Kagemusha" is a masterpiece, albeit one up for debate. Not all Kurosawa fans would like it, but that's they're business. Personally, this is one of the movies currently that I'd really like to see again.
PS: Thank goodness for George Lucas and Francis Ford Copolla who funded this movie.
25 of 42 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?