i was at uni when i was into my jidai geki samurai films , back 3 years ago.
i was unfortunate to get this film on a poor cheap dvd with bad quality. I knew then i had to get the best quality transfer. it meant me spending £16
on a region one criterion from the U.S , which came with a great transfer and info. And now eurka who are exellent in transfer of dvds, have taken on this classic, something i wished they would of done 5 years ago! but its too late for my region 2.
The movie itself is one of the best movies to come out of japan/asia.. and the one of the greatest samurai movies of all time. You are not reading this review , or stumbled on this page by accident , its because you either exloring japanese cinema , or your looking for a samurai film.
Anyone whos into world cinema / japanese cinema MUST watch this film. Its one of the films that show why tatsuya nakadai is one of the best in his profession, and also why tetsuro tamba is also none the less.
The film is sooo well written that it puts 80 per cent of nowdays films based on the same genre and theme, look amuteur and literally of a really poor standard. The acting in this film is superb , its natural the japanese in this period along with hong kong cinema during the 60s and 70s were a rare breed of opera/ period film experts.
The film portrays the life of a veteran samurai whos life is turned upside down, as peace enters japan. And unemployed samurai roam the streets in search of work. What becomes of this is , poverty and depression. And many samurai resort to desperate measures in order to feed their families, which in turn leads to abuse and exploitation.
The film is dark , depressing and intense. This is not dark humour like sanjuro and yojimbo kurosawa films.. but as kobyashis portrayel of hard life during the jidai geki. expect some disturbing scenes which will stick in your mind.
for me this is just behind seven samurai, in one of Japans finest works in film.
A true classic not be missed !!!
this is to samurai cinema , as what goodfellas is to the gangster genre.