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The Hidden Blade [DVD] (2004)
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Japanese period samurai drama. Munezo Katagiri (Masatoshi Nagase) is a samurai in 19th-century Japan who finds himself torn between the love he feels for a lowly farm girl and his fidelity to a dying tradition. Unable to marry the girl because of their differing social status, Munezo's conflict over his position comes to a head when he is ordered to kill a traitor - who turns out to be his oldest friend.
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The romantic story is also very slow and hushed, in keeping with the cultural expectations, and fortunately, the film has not let it's self down with a silly 'westernised' ending. Indeed, the absence of hollywood style sword fights and unsubtle messages is what makes this film (and others of its kind) so appealing. The viewer is expected to have some knowledge of the historic period, and this will certainly enrich your experience when watching this film.
Finally, for me the most intriguing aspect was to observe the way of life depicted in the film. The courtesy, the dedication to work and productivity, and of course that unbreakable code of honour. Whilst much of it is sadly no longer compatible with modern, western life, as the film ends you may find yourself wanting to just sit quietly for a few moments and simply take stock of your own life and how you conduct yourself.
'The Hidden Blade', is about a Samurai and a servant girl from a low ranking family who were once much higher ranking. The father of the main protagonist, Squire Kategiri, had to commit hari-kiri due to 'mistakes' he has made (in fact he had done nothing wrong) and the rank of his family was lowered as a result. The servant girl and Kategiri are in love but societal norms of the time prevent them being together. This goes on until Kategiri is ordered by his clan to kill a renegade, which he duly does, with the help of 'uncivilised' riflemen. The renegade is a close friend, and it turns out he was not a renegade in the true sense, but rules are rules.Read more ›
The Hidden Blade is the story of Munezo Katagiri (Masatoshi Nagase), a poor samurai who does his duty to his clan in a small village in the north of Japan. His father was forced to commit hari kiri unjustly, but the father submitted because obeying the lord was the core of his life. A friend of Katagiri's, Yaichiro Hazama, who earlier went to Edo, has been implicated in a treason plot against the shogun. Hazama is sent back to the village for imprisonment. At the same time, Katagiri's sister has married a good friend, his mother has died, and he has found a merchant husband for the family's maid, a young woman named Kie (Takako Matsu), the daughter of a farmer who had been trained in many skills by Katagiri's mother. We can tell there is affection and respect between the two, but the idea of marriage is never recognized because of the rigid separation of the four castes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent movie but probably a tad less satisfying than Twilight Samurai.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I liked this dvd it was very well put together with a good story.Published 14 months ago by David Dunn
Its got subtitles but despite that a highly enjoyable film - I want to tell you the plot bit that would spoil it. Read morePublished 22 months ago by CRG
Having first seen the Twilight Samurai, i bought the Hidden Blade, i was not disappointed both films are brilliant, thanks.Published on 9 Jan. 2014 by Welsh Dave
this is a classic film..sad but hopeful..a film you should watch about the old japan gone forever..you will love it..Published on 5 Oct. 2013 by p.fitzpatrick