Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke ... See full summary »
Gennosuke, a clan retainer, kills one of the clan ministers as part of a plot to achieve reform. He is pursued by his former comrades, each hoping to complete the vendetta put on Gennosuke by the clan. With the help of a master swordsman, Yamane, Gennosuke has a chance at survival. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I'm a cornered and wounded beast. I can't afford to live by my conscience. My opponent is a strong warrior, it is true. But it's up to me whether I defeat him and take his gold, or am defeated by him... and left to die a dog's death in the hills.
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The film begins with a group of VERY determined samurai chasing another one in an attempt to kill him. You really don't know why, but it seems they've been chasing him for a long time. I really like the story-telling method where only slowly is the reason for this and other sub-plots revealed AFTER the major action has introduced the characters. While this could have made the film confusing, it didn't drag this mystery on for too long and ultimately created quite a tale. I particularly liked the overall theme of the meaninglessness of the corrupt samurai system--this could make the film a "downer" for some, but I really liked how it was a rebuttal to the myth of the beauty and elegance of the code of the warrior (much like the myth in Western society of knighthood and chivalry).
There were quite a few films made in Japan about the corruptness of the Japanese feudal system (such as THE 47 RONIN and SAMURAI SPY), so the overall focus of this anti-samurai film isn't that unusual. However, for fans of this genre, the film has good acting, writing and direction--so it certainly is recommended. It's just that there are other even better Japanese films that are worth seeing first.
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