6.6/10
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Castle Under Fiery Skies (2009)

Katen no shiro (original title)
An achievement-type of story: a builder/carpenter/architect goes through trials and tribulations to construct an impressive castle for his employer, the major Japanese historical figure, Oda Nobunaga.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel by) (as Kenichi Yamamoto), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Toshiyuki Nishida
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shôzô Endô
Saki Fukuda
Mido Fukui
Renji Ishibashi
Takuya Ishida
Mami Kumagaya
Jun'ichi Kômoto
Ken Maeda
Miki Mizuno
Tokuma Nishioka
Naoto Ogata
Shinobu Ohtake ...
(as Shinobu Ôtake)
Jyonmyon Pe
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Storyline

An achievement-type of story: a builder/carpenter/architect goes through trials and tribulations to construct an impressive castle for his employer, the major Japanese historical figure, Oda Nobunaga.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jidai geki | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama | History

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

12 September 2009 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Castle Under Fiery Skies  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is the story of the construction of Aizuchi castle. The castle was real, it was completed in 1576 and destroyed in 1585. It had for its time many innovations compared to other Japanese castles, for example thick walls of stone in defense of cannon fire.Okabe (Mataemon), the builder and Oda (Nobunaga), the warlord for whom the castle is built, were real historical people. The castle's name also used to name the era the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568 to 1600). See more »

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User Reviews

 
This Japanese historical is an absolutely engaging affair
9 November 2009 | by (India) – See all my reviews

On an analogous note, one can refer director Mitsutoshi Tanaka as the Ashutosh Gowarikar of Japan – his film is a historical period drama set in the late 1500 (the same era as Akbar) and runs for a good 2 and a half hours which is long enough as per international standards. Based on an award-winning novel Matsumoto Seicho by Yamamoto Ken'ichi, the film not an entirely factual account but the fictional screenplay is devised from many true historical details.

The film opens in 1576 when king Oda Nobunaga (Shiina Kippei) wishes to build a 5-storeyed Azuchi castle on a mountain fronting a lake that is believed to be the center of Japan. Master carpenter Okabe Mataemon's (Nishida Toshiyuki) design is approved as he is allotted the task to make the most grand and lavish castle in Japan in a span of three years. The trails and tribulations that he faces to complete the mammoth task is what the film is about.

Like the magnificent and strong structure of castle, the screenplay is constructed as much beautifully and steadily and has an emotional connect with the viewer. The production design is of high standards and some decent computer graphics are employed. Unlike any Samurai film there are no battle sequences here but scenes where the castle's central pillar is erected and another where a giant boulder is pulled towards the castle show the magnanimity of the project.

The film does resort to some formula like a supporting actor surfacing from nowhere in the climax which could have been easily avoided. The love tracks don't help much and a superhuman style flying Kung Fu fight remains both unexplained and unbelievable. Also Mataemon is nowhere in picture once the castle is completed.

Nevertheless for the compelling act of Nishida Toshiyuki, an interesting premise and director Tanaka's grand vision, Castle Under Fiery Skies is an absolutely engaging affair.


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