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Disappointing. Fails to do credit to this great tale.
on 7 January 2015
At the start I was quite optimistic, despite poor reviews, that this was going to be a reasonable effort at relating the magnificent tale of the 47 Ronin. I could see how those not familiar with the story might find the beginning ponderous and confusing, but I persevered. As a window on life in Japan of the period it was quite convincing. As the film progressed I became less enthusiastic, waiting for the key elements of this truly wonderful tale of Japanese loyalty, devotion honour and self-sacrifice to be revealed. Sadly they are not. Anyone who reads either Lord Redesdale's quaint 19th century version or that in the excellent eponymous book by Barry Till will be disappointed by this film. The efforts made by Oishi Kuranosuke to throw off suspicion that he might be about to avenge his master by sinking to drunken depravity and debauchery are not here, Where is the man from Sakura who kicks his drunken body and spits on him (who subsequently committed seppuku at Oishi's grave)? It matters not whether these key elements of the tale are historically accurate - they are key to weaving the true brilliance of this great tale of the way of the Samurai. Very disappointing.