The first half of the movie has a slow pace and is contemplative, which provides time for reflection and allows the viewer to be prepared for the main story. In a way, it helps by contrast the development of the scenes that follow, and also helps to build the main story until it culminates in the surprising, emotional, and elegant, finale. I should not say anything more about the story. The acting is superb. The three leads are excellent: The Samurai, his wife(Shima Iwashita), and the Spearman(Hiromi Go).
Ms. Iwashita ("An Autumn Afternoon", "Harakiri", "Double Suicide") is the perfect japanese wife of a Samurai. She has poise and class, and she is very delicate in the manner she speaks and conducts herself. Her inner beauty is so overpowering that would soften the heart of any man.
This is a singular movie unto itself, unlike other movies of the genre, it is very unique, and has a story that is intricate but simple at the same time. After watching it, one is left reflecting on the effects of the prevailing value system of our society and how it interacts with our own convictions and beliefs. And one comes to the realization that the same analysis can be applied to each period of history, worldwide.