During a downpour, a generous ronin and his supporting wife are stranded at a country inn. The ronin comes to the attention of a lord who wants to hire him as an instructor for his men, who treat the ronin with disrespect.
A tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.
A talented but troubled Edo Period swordsman, Kanemi Sanzaemon. Three years earlier, Kanemi killed a woman, Renko, the corrupt mistress of the powerful daimyo Tabu Ukyou. Unexpectedly, ... See full summary »
The mother of a feudal lord's only heir is kidnapped away from her husband by the lord. The husband and his samurai father must decide whether to accept the unjust decision, or risk death to get her back.
Seibei Iguchi, a low-ranking samurai, leads a life without glory as a bureaucrat in the mid-XIX century Japan. A widower, he has charge of two daughters (whom he adores) and a senile mother; he must therefore work in the fields and accept piecework to make ends meet. New prospects seem to open up when Tomoe, his long-time love, divorces a brutal husband. However, even as the Japanese feudal system is unraveling, Seibei remains bound by the code of honour of the samurai and by his own sense of social precedences. The consequences are cruel.Written by
Eduardo Casais <email@example.com>
Official submission of Japan for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 76th Academy Awards in 2004. See more »
I am ashamed to say that over many years of hardship with two daughters, a sick wife and an aged mother, I have lost the desire to wield a sword. A serious fight, the killing of a man, requires animal ferocity and calm disregard for one's own life. I have neither of those within me now. Perhaps in a month... alone with the beasts in the hills I could get them back. But tomorrow, I am afraid, is completely impossible.
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I had been waiting a very long time for this movie to be released in my area, so when the time came I was fairly excited. Often, when I expect a lot out of a movie I am disappointed and end up hating something that may not deserve it. In this case, however, it lived up to and exceeded my expectations. The story line, character development, framing, pacing and action were all absolutely top-notch in my opinion. The film stands as a stark contrast to many other movies set in the same time period in Japan and beyond that it also possesses a very universal appeal. It reminded me of other good dramas in its tone (at times even a bit like the film "In America") and it had funny moments as well as heart-wrenching sadness throughout. It was effective without being too melodramatic, and did a wonderful job of enticing the viewer to empathize with the main character. From a martial arts standpoint I thought that the techniques used were very realistically applied and not at all outside of the realm of what samurai in this time period would have been doing. The fights were tense but very realistic. The last duel was stylized to a greater degree, reminding me of certain moments in Kurosawa's films and by extension certain Kabuki influences. All in all it was a very strong film. It's deep enough that it could stand up to repeated viewing, and in the way of subtititled films it would actually get better each time. Even if the story doesn't interest you it would be worthwhile to see it for the natural beauty of the location and the shots anyway. One of the finest films about feudal Japan that I have seen, and one of the best films I've seen at all.
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