Honestly, I really enjoyed this film. I liked the characters, it was VERY funny at times, it told a fascinating story. Nobou is about as fun and well-developed a character as one would tend to find in this kind of movie. At the same time, the battle scenes were bloody and fairly realistic, and exhilarating to watch.
But while all of that is good, it's not what stuck with me after the movie.
I live in Iwate, one of the three prefectures that were badly hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March, 2011.
Given that I imagine most theatres in Japan that are showing this film probably have the same warning stamped on the posters as the one I went to had, I don't think it qualifies as a spoiler to point out that the reason this film's release was delayed over a year is that there is one particular scene in which a village gets flooded in a rather graphic manner that for me (and probably for most Japanese audiences) was reminiscent of the tragedy that struck these shores last March. (Also, a similar attack happens in the first 5 minutes of the film, with Mitsunari saying, effectively, "I'm gonna do that too someday!". It's not a spoiler.)
The film is basically a comedy throughout, and when I watched it the theatre was packed and many other audience members were audibly laughing. Then when that scene hit, the theatre went silent. I can't help but imagine the film probably originally had more jokes punctuating that sequence, but they were cut in the aftermath of the tsunami because of obvious inappropriateness.
Still, even in light of how depressed the film made me with that one scene, I highly recommend that anyone who has the opportunity see this film. It is still highly entertaining. :-)
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