During the Edo Period of Japan, an excellent cook marries the heir to a renowned cooking family. However, her husband is a terrible chef. With the help of her new mother-in-law, she begins to teach him the ways of the culinary arts.
After the forced suicide of Nobunaga Oda at the Incident at Honno-ji, powerful figures Katsuie Shibata, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Nagahide Niwa and Tsuneoki Ikeda meet to decide on a successor. ... See full summary »
A woman looks back on her family's life in Tokyo before and during WWII. A maid arrives from the countryside to work for an upper middle class family. She fits in well, but everyone's emotions are stirred up with the arrival of a student.
Masterless Samurai Kyutaro Madarame is hired by a dog-loving gang to get rid of their rival gang's beloved pet, an adorable white cat. Upon raising his sword, however, he cannot bring ... See full summary »
A sequel to the comedy Thermae Romae, an adaptation of Yamazaki Mari's popular comic. A Roman Empire bathhouse architect discovers he is able to travel through time when in need of ... See full summary »
Through the mother's recipe for living happily, a family is able to overcome their personal wounds and move on with their lives. Ryohei's wife suddenly passes away, leaving Ryohei without ... See full summary »
After taking the blame for another disastrous advertising campaign, Ota Kiichiro is asked by his arrogant boss Otaki Ichiro to take his place as a judge at the world's biggest advertising ... See full summary »
Tamako graduated from a university in Tokyo, but she now lives with her father back in Kofu. Tamako doesn't help her father or tries to get a job. She spends her time just eating and sleeping throughout the four seasons of the year.
After failing his university entrance examinations and being left by his girlfriend, Yuki Hirano decides to join a forestry training program only to discover that the job is much harder ... See full summary »
Ancient Roman architect Lucius is too serious. His inability to keep up with the fast-moving times costs him his job. When a friend takes the dejected Lucius to the public bathhouse to ... See full summary »
Sen no Rikyu is the son of a fish shop owner. Sen no Rikyu then studies tea and eventually becomes one of the primary influences upon the Japanese tea ceremony. With his elegant esthetics, ... See full summary »
Set within the Kaga Domain in the Edo Period. Oharu is an excellent cook and recognized for her skills. Due to her cooking talents, she marries Yasunobu, who is an heir in the Funaki family. The Funaki family serves as the cook for the Kaga Domain. Nevertheless, Yasunobu himself is a terrible cook. With the help of Oharu's mother-in-law Mitsuru, she begins to teach Yasunobu how to cook. Written by
I wanted to like this one more than I did, though it was still fairly entertaining.
I love Japanese films. I also love films about cooking--such as "Babette's Feast", "The Big Night" and "Mostly Martha". So, I would have thought that a Japanese movie about cooking would be something I'd love. Well, although "A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story" is pretty good, I certainly was not in love with it. It could have been a lot better.
The story is set during the feudal period in Japan--specifically in the 18th century. During this period, not all the samurai are trained for warfare. There is a class called the 'bushi' who are trained as the greatest chefs in the land to the richest and most powerful lords and even the emperor. A young woman, Haru, is a cook for a prominent family. As the years pass, her cooking skills become somewhat legendary. One day, a famous bushi chef tastes her food and is captivated. He MUST convince Haru to marry his son, Yosunobu! It seems that the chef's oldest son recently died unexpectedly. So, Yosunobu must give up his dreams of being a warrior and join the bushi. Not surprisingly, Yosunobu is NOT excited about being a chef and he struggles with this. Additionally, he resents his father picking him a bride and makes Haru feel a bit unwelcome. Still, Haru is a devoted wife and makes it her goal in life to help this family and Yosunobu to become among the greatest chefs in the land. And, over time, perhaps she can win Yosunobu's heart as well.
This story has a lot of great elements that should have made it work well. So why wasn't I bowled over by it? Well, there are two main reasons that the film is only fair in my estimation. Unlike great cooking films, "A Tale of Samurai Cooking" actually spends very little of the film focusing on cooking itself. When I watched "Babette's Feast", for example, the food stirred my senses--the food and the footage of the cooking were very sensuous. You cannot help but feel hungry and have your emotions stirred as you watch. But in "A Tale of Samurai Cooking", my senses were rarely piqued like they were in the best cooking films. Additionally, midway through the movie, a LOT of political intrigue occurred--with lots of names I didn't really care about and scheming which never seemed to pay off. In other words, the main thrust of the love story was diluted by these other plots and the two plots didn't seem to work well together. However, I did say the film was fair--the acting was good, the film interesting. But to me it seems like a case where there are just so many Japanese films out there, perhaps you might want to keep looking for one that it more compelling.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?