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lunes, 8 de junio de 2009

funny samurais film



Director: Koreeda Hirokazu

Writers: Koreeda Hirokazu

Date: 2006
Genre: Jidaigeki, Drama, Comedy

Description: Samurai’s revenge, honor and fidelity, the truth about life, irony of the samurai life, samurai deconstruction, comedy of life, finding a samurai way after war
Cast: Okada Junichi, Miyazawa Rie, Furuta Arata, Kunimura Jun, Nakamura Katsuo, Asano Tadanobu, Harada Yoshio, Kagawa Teruyuki, Tabata Tomoko, Kase Ryo, Terajima Susumu, Ishibashi Renji,
Crew of note:
Runtime: 126 mins.

Color: Color

Trivia:
summarySoza, a young, honest, and meek samurai spends his days among the impoverished of Edo as he tries to find his father’s murderer to regain his honor, and his lineage. There’s a problem though: Soza sucks with swords, and this becomes obvious quite quickly. As he interacts with the commonfolk around him, and even his father’s murderer, questions about his way of life, and conflicts within his being start to emerge. Will he regain his honor, or … not?
reviewRevenge revenge revenge, it’s one of the staples of chambara. But I don’t think anyone really expects this to be a swordfight based on the director, the poster, or anything else anyone could see about the movie. So I guess it isn’t a spoiler to say, there is only one swordfight in the movie, and it isn’t anything to be excited about. And it’s a good thing there aren’t. Unlike Yamada Yoji’s recent trilogy that inevitably resolves itself with the sword, Koreeda is somehow able to create a true samurai film without the necessity for real blood. I suppose you can call it subversion, and it’s only the tip of that iceberg.
[Insert obligatory mention of how great the cast, script, direction, sets, costumes, music, etc. are]
This is a Jidaigeki because it’s set in Edo during the Tokugawa era, but Koreeda approaches his tale with as much insight, wit, humor and grace as his earlier, as his more celebrated works (Daremo shiranai and Maborosi) set in the modern world. In fact, even though the main conflict in the movie is typical of the samurai genre (ninjo vs giri, honor and fidelity, etc), I found myself being able to relate to Soza more than any other protagonist I’ve spent time with (can you really relate that much to Mifune?). I’d like to avoid discussing the word “deconstruction” even though it’s commonly thrown at this film, but I disagree. This is the voice of the samurai whose story isn’t told, whose exploits aren’t as memorable as the Ryonosukes’, the Musashis’, the unnamed Ronins’. But samurai are human too, and Soza perhaps, lives one of the most human lives of them all.
conclusionWasn’t my review enough to convince you? Koreeda works his magic. Once you’ve seen enough 50s-70s chambara and Jidaigeki, see this.
things to take note ofThe Chushingura tale in the background of the movie (no it’s not a subplot and no it isn’t underdeveloped), and its significanceHow the neighborhood feels a lot like the one in Ninjo kami fusen / Humanity and Paper Balloons by Yamanaka Sadao, or maybe that’s just meMiyazawa Rie is so lovely :,(Soza’s personality, conflict, and resolutionThe subversion and deconstruction people keep talking about
best momentThe finale! Definitely one to remember
why you should watch thisLight, amusing, witty and meaningfulShows a lot of insight into samurai life and its ironies (and loopholes?)One of the best Jidaigeki from the 2000s (yes, better than Yamada Yoji’s)I can’t remember the last time I was amazed at a Jidaigeki’s script
rating: 8.9

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