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Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri.
|Studio :||Shochiku Co., Ltd.,|
|Crew :||Art Direction, Art Direction,|
|Cast :||Tatsuya Nakadai Rentarô Mikuni Shima Iwashita Akira Ishihama Yoshio Inaba|
|Genre :||Drama Action History|
Memorable, crazy movie
A lot more amusing than I thought it would be.
In truth, there is barely enough story here to make a film.
Definitely the best samurai flick that was not done by Kurosawa! In fact it actually surpasses many of his masterpieces! The brilliant cinematography and intense swordplay is complimented by an intricate and well told story that stays with you.
Kobayashi making a superb Samurai film in the early '60s is like David Vs. Goliath. Kurosawa was on top of his game at this time, and somehow Masaki Kobayashi managed to create a Samurai film on par with the quality of Kurosawa, while staying true to his own style and merit instead of copying what others did before him.The first thing that struck me was that this film, more than 50 years later, still looks fantastic. Especially the great use of high contrast lighting, something you barely see in Japanese productions, set the tone both visually and thematically. The director of photography uses a lot of symmetric shots which look beautiful but tell a story as well. For me the highlight of this film was Motome Chijiiwa's seppuku. This scene was shocking, absurd and also very unpredictable. Excellent editing and cinematography created an unforgettable, yet uncomfortable moment. The turn of events, which slowly unfold as the film progresses is unexpected and will surprise you. But most of all, it will impress you. The director uses some very (without giving too much away) notable techniques to strengthen the effect.Tatsuya Nakadai, one of the greats in Samurai cinema, has some of the most amazing body language you will ever see in movies! I noticed how much work and detail he put into this character by not focusing on his eyes, but rather on his feet - which show that he really is portraying a Samurai. My only flaw is that the beginning of the film, the first twenty minutes or so, does not set the tone which I found to be a bit confusing and off putting.This is one of the greatest films from the golden age of Japanese cinema. It holds up very well and you will walk away very satisfied. If you get the chance, go watch it!
HARAKIRI is an action drama about an unfortunate fate and an ironic revenge of a ronin.A ronin arrives at an estate of one clan and says that he wishes to commit seppuku (hara kiri) within the courtyard of their palace. To deter him, a senior counselor tells him the story about a young ronin who is looking for a way to commit seppuku, but set of circumstances has made his death a slow, painful and humiliating. Despite this warning a poor ronin insists that he has never heard that story and says that he has no intention of leaving their palace alive. After a suicide pavilion is set up in the courtyard of the palace, the ronin is asked to name the samurai who shall behead him when the ritual is complete. Coincidentally, he has chose three samurai who have participated in the ritual of the unfortunate young ronin from the counselor's story. However, all three decline to come, saying they are suffering from a life-threatening illness. The ronin has laughed ironically and started his shocking confession...This is a very dramatic and tragic story with a very strong final climax. That ritualistic form of suicide is further reinforce the impression of a dark atmosphere. The main villain is a certain kind of a corrupt lord. A desperate and poor hero slowly serves his revenge, with the intent to humiliate and embarrass his opponents. An ancient tradition, political conflicts and shattered pride follow his painful confession. Mr. Kobayashi has enriched a tense situation with a vivid and sad retrospectives. The final battle is truly magnificent, even an occasional shred of theatricality has its role. Characterization is pretty good. Tatsuya Nakadai (Tsugumo Hanshirō) has offered an excellent performance as a desperate and poor, but focused and brave ronin.The brutality and an attack in the agony give us an entirely new expression of the ancient samurai world.
Tsugumo Hanshiro, a Samurai with no lord (ronin), goes to the estate of Li clan to commit Harakiri (Japanese ritual suicide), yet a senior counselor there tells him a story about the fate of a younger ronin that came to the clan holding the same request. The story that was intended to scare away Hanshiro only carried him to tell a story of his own and so he did in the oddest fashion. And through flashbacks we learn it and the more we know the more we understand.. the more we feel.. the more we think.Harakiri (1962), that its events are set out between 1619 and 1630 of the Edo period, is a perfect study of the human mind, heart, and soul. It is also a study of the human relations and that of the society and individual..Through its characters and their contradicting personalities you will learn a lot.. Sincerity and hypocrisy, faith and appearances, love and hate, caring and indifference, courage and fear... The social structure: flaws and corruptness.. The society's symbols and traditions: their depth and when they are only a cover. And then there is history: how it happens and then how it is written. This is all one thing about Harakiri and the other aspects that make a film are just as perfect.. the cinematography, soundtrack, acting.. every single aspect.. and the duels we see reminded me of the duels in "The good, the bad, and the ugly', only that here it's with swords.Truly the film is a masterpiece.. a journey that you should undergo.