In 1185, the Heike family fights against the Minamoto family. After a bloody naval battle in the Pacific Ocean, Yoshitsune Minamoto defeats the enemy and the survivals commit suicide. When the triumphant Yoshitsune arrives in Kyoto, his brother, the Shogun Yoritomo, is lured and orders his men to arrest Yoshitsune. However, Yoshitsune escapes with six loyal samurais led by Benkei and they head to the country of his only friend Idehira Fukiwara. Nearby the border, after crossing the forest disguised as monks, their smiley conveyor Suruga discloses that they are Yoshitsune and the six samurais and advises that the fearful Kagiwara and his soldiers are waiting for them in the border to arrest them. Yoshitsune disguises as a carrier and Benkei has to convince Kagiwara that they are six monks traveling to collect donation to build a large temple in Kyoto.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I have watched this several times and enjoyed each viewing. It's a very early Kurosawa, apparently done on a shoestring of a budget. However, we can already see Kurosawa's talents in pacing and setting up shots. Kenichi Enomoto as the porter appears out of place at first with his over the top mannerisms and broad comedy, but he fits into the story and breaks up the slower pace of some of the scenes. For Kurosawa and samurai fans, I think this will be more than just a curiosity. This has an early appearance of Masayuki Mori (the murdered husband in Roshomon) and a fairly early appearance of Takashi Shimura (leader of the seven samurai). I recommend this for the usual suspects.
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