The copy I saw was so old and discolored that I decided to give it ten minutes and stop watching if I felt the least bit bored. It didn't happen because this film is a series of intense scenes and unexpected turns that make you want more... so much so that I was greatly disappointed when the film ended. It felt too short despite its duration of more than two hours.
Don't expect any flashy battles. This is the drama of a man who is a victim of high politics. He is toyed with almost since his birth, which brings great distress to his parents and retainers. Watching his hardships, it was easy to forget that he would become the leader of Japan. Several characters are often forced to make extremely painful decisions to save the ones they love or retain their self-respect.
The director is a true master. He managed to squeeze each scene for all it was worth in terms of emotion. As for the actors, everyone was compelling and believable. Instead of feeling like I was watching an alien culture, I was engrossed by this human drama.
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