6.6/10
31
3 user 1 critic

Nichiren and the Great Mongol Invasion (1958)

Nichiren to moko daishurai (original title)
| Drama | 1958 (Japan)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Kazuo Hasegawa ...
Nichiren
...
Yasaburô
Shintarô Katsu ...
Shijo Kingo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Raizô Ichikawa ...
Hôjô Tokimune
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Genres:

Drama

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1958 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Nichiren and the Great Mongol Invasion  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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2.35 : 1
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Flawed but Informative
30 August 2010 | by (India) – See all my reviews

The first and foremost flaw is the failure to project the persona of the protagonist. Instead, we see a teary, sentimental and overacted depiction which remains wooden and lifeless. We see none of the towering conviction or the humanism. Perhaps the greatest injustice to him is to have portrayed him as a mere nationalist, whose concerns do not extend beyond the Mongol threat. The truth is that he was propounding a universal teaching altogether different from anything that preceded it. The tampering with historical factuality is a lesser flaw which one can compensate for. It does give you an idea of the historic milieu in which the events took place, placing the biography in a coherent sequence, even somewhat inaccurate. Among the historical inaccuracies following may be mentioned: 1. Nichiren visited his mother in 1264 and not vice versa as shown 2. The Mongol invasion occurred after his return from Sado and not before as shown, nor was it the reason for his pardon from exile. The ending borders on the ridiculous. It is difficult to discern the POV of the film-maker. Most objectionably, he has made the protagonist, through his persistently grim teeth clenched lack of human expression, look more comic than anything else. He has completely missed out on the human persona of Nichiren, which is no doubt hard to portray. It is likely to prove painful and distressing to those who hold him in reverence as a great philosopher and leader of Buddhism.

Cinematic-ally large tracts resemble as a samurai story with hordes of warriors criss-crossing the screen at considerable speed with much sound and fury.

The best justification for seeing the film is because it is there, the only portrayal on the subject on the screen.


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