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37 Reviews
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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Thought provoking
Set in the early days of the Meiji Restoration, when power was being returned to the Emperor and Japan was in a period of rapid modernisation, this charming film shows that the choice of accepting change is a very personal one. Unlike the Hollywood version in the Last Samurai, with it's lame irony of Tom Cruise fighting against western industrialisation, this film shows...
Published on 7 July 2005 by resuta

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor picture quality...
I'm surprised!

I bought Tartan Video's version to ensure myself of good picture quality. I also read at least 20 reviews to be sure there was no questionmark whatsoever concerning picture quality (I always do). I'm halfway through the film now and I must say the picture is a drag. The contrasts are awfull, the colors doesn't come off and the most terrible thing...
Published on 19 Jan. 2011


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74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Thought provoking, 7 July 2005
Set in the early days of the Meiji Restoration, when power was being returned to the Emperor and Japan was in a period of rapid modernisation, this charming film shows that the choice of accepting change is a very personal one. Unlike the Hollywood version in the Last Samurai, with it's lame irony of Tom Cruise fighting against western industrialisation, this film shows the changes in society more subtly.
The main character is a samurai clerk who has moved away from war, and has found delight in spending a lot of time with his daughters. However, when his clan sides with the traditional ruling Shogunate against the Imperial forces, he has to make some very crucial decisions about his life, and his family.
Beautifully filmed with a refreshingly slow pace, this is a suberbly made film in every way. The film also shows the nature of Japanese life, culture and heirarchy in a period of massive change.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars delightful, 12 May 2005
By 
Nish Pfister "nhpfister" (Chulmleigh, Devon, U K) - See all my reviews
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surprising, sensitive, beautiful, it also gives an insight into Japanese culture and traditions. I specially liked the slow pace, even the fighting scenes have that calm deliberate air. How do they manage to make everything look so beautiful, even poverty?
This is one to own.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not miss this movie!!! ... I wish I could give 6 stars, 27 Aug. 2005
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After 3 times of viewing, it still touch my heart with emotion - superb character developments. The plot flows seamlessly. Action scenes are not super-man style but giving powerful differences. The ending is so touching that I cries like never before with other movies... This simple title will surely mesmerise your soul. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY LOVE THIS FILM.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, 14 Jan. 2007
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C. J. Schooling "enjukan-budoka" (Glenisla, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Hiroyuki Sanada's quietly dignified portrayal of an impoverished samurai is a delight. A splendidly shot film that moves with only what I can call grace to it's moving end.

The two fight scenes are excellent and it's nice to see more genuine sword play than the normal flashing steel stuff that is usual.

I've watched it 5 times and still not tired of it.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best foreign films ever, 12 Jan. 2007
This is a simply beautiful film that captures the beauty of of Humility, love and Courage.

Do not overlook this film because it is foreign. It is a superb film and now one of my all time greats.

It is one of the best foreign films you will ever see in your lifetime and the hero of the story epitomises what real heroism is all about. You will find it hard not to be moved by this film. Oh if only all films had such an impact.

A must see film for any cinema connoisseur!!! 10/10
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely story, beautifully told., 27 Dec. 2006
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Keiko (Worcestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a lovely film - the telling of a simple story in a beautiful, well paced way. It's not an action film by any means. Whilst there are two 'action sequences' (although not in the Hollywood manner of things) they are perfectly placed in the context of the story of the male leads life - that of a simple samurai 'accountant' in the clan, trying to bring up his beloved daughters following the death of his wife. Taken for what it is (and not what you might expect) I can thoroughly recommend this movie.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best samurai movie i have ever seen, 17 Mar. 2005
By A Customer
since i bought the dvd, i have seen it five times and every time i discover something new and amazing about it. for me,it is truley the only perfect movie . if you are looking for samurai fights, then twilight samurai maybe is not the one for you as it has only two (spectuclar sword fights) in the whole movie. but if you looking for strong and meaningfull movie, then you have to see it. seibie the twilight samurai, is a poor man who devoted his life to take care of his two young daughters and his mother. at the sametimes he is still a high ranked samurai and need to do his duty when his help is needed.
Hiroyuki Sanada (Ujio in the last samurai) is a great actor and in this movie we can see and feel how he captures all the emotions and pain of seibie. the superb acting is accomplished with magnificent directing of Yoji Yamada who is a very well known japanese director and friend of late Akira Korosawa.
if you decided to see one foreign movie, without any doubt you should pick twilight samurai.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twighlight Samurai - a moving film for the soul, 3 Jan. 2005
By 
J. C. Finch (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This movie touched my heart and I'm sure I will watch it over and over again for many years to come. Historically, I was intersted to learn about this particular time in Japan and I felt that the Twighlight Samurai gave an excellent picture of how things were. The main character was beautifully played by Hiroyuki Sanada, whose portrayal of a kind and gentle man yet strong man who loved his daughters and was happy to have a simple life but who's life ended up anything but simple, moved me to tears. I loved it and would recommend this to anyone interested in Japanese history and the ways of the Samurai and to anyone interested in watching a warm, moving and beautiful love story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twilght. The moment of change, 30 Oct. 2010
By 
Michael Badu (London) - See all my reviews
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Let me first say that this is a really great film perhaps only slightly spoiled by the ending. If the ending was as good at that for say 'The insider (the best ending ever in my opinion)'.

I think a lot of stuff has been written by people about the beauty of Japanese poverty and about Japanese simplicity / nobility / restraint etc..I think that this commentary is a a little overdone.

These things are not presented in the film in an abstract way; the simplicity and poverty is due to the unlucky life that Seibei (the main protagonist) has had with his sick wife etc.. and following on from this his low rank in the clan (which is why he is poorly paid). He's a single father really struggling to make ends meet doing the job of both parents and this holds back his career and keeps him in poverty. He's in the situation despite being a very handy swordsman; an illustration that the time of the Katana is over.

In the midst of all this the film shows you the change that are occurring; there's a funny scene where soldiers are trying to get to grips with gunpowder; there's a poignant moment where Seibei's daughter is studying the Classics (Confucius) which at that time only boys were supposed to do. Seibei tells his daughter to read on because it will help her learn how to think; if she learns to do that she will always be ok whatever happens. There's the moment at the end when the erstwhile loyal captain of the guard Zenemon Yogo refuses to commit ritual suicide when he was ordered to by his clan, so goes rogue. Change, change, change.

The funny thing is that Seibei; a man who has had to make do with ill luck , who saw his childhood sweetheart marry someone else because he wasn't well off enough; a man who when all his own dreams have been shattered sees a light in his children. This man gets an opportunity to make his dreams comes true by benefiting from this change. The building tension in the film is due to the growing realisation of both Seibei and you the viewer of this fact.

The film toys with your emotions in this regard; Things are looking up for Seibei!! No, actually they're not. Yes they are!!! etc..etc..

Ultimately the film isn't about the big things (that films are generally always about, including The Insdier). It's about the fact that being s poor single father is ultimatley more heroic than being a famous swordsman.

It's about how a person can deal with the real problems that life throws at you, and that dealing with them with grace and dignity may lead to joys and rewards long despaired of.

Like many others, I've seen it more than once. I own a copy having bought it after I had watched a rented copy. I can't say that I do that for many films
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent and very confucian story - and a great movie!, 13 Jan. 2008
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This is a great movie, well desserving five stars. This story of a poor samurai, Seibei Iguchi, who struggles valiantly to take care of his sick wife, senile mother and two little daughters (and one devoted although not very clean servant), is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.

Because he doesn't laugh (or speak for that matter) a lot and never has time (or money) to drink with his fellow samurai, Iguchi earns finally the nick name "Twilight Samurai". A simple, calm, honest and gentle man, Iguchi never was very ambitious - he has however much more steel (and talent) in him than anybody expects... As you will see in the movie, the fate will accumulate more and more hardships on his way, until one day he finally has the possibility to greatly improve his material situation and his standing in the clan... but for a price which he is not ready to pay. No more details here.

As it is strongly hinted at the very beginning of this movie, to understand it fully, we should consider some of the teachings by Confucius. There are two confucianisms - the original one, created by Confucius in V century BC and the official one (greatly stressing the obligation of blind obedience to the superiors), which was developped by court appointed officials under the emperor Han Wudi in II century BC. Here the original teachings are the main point of the movie. Confucius insisted a lot on the acceptance of one's situation and of his place in the society and encouraged to obey and respect the superiors - but on another hand he also called every person to cultivate the virtue, and precised that the higher is one's station in life, the greater should be his virtue. Obedience to superiors and personal virtue HAVE to collide occasionally and in this movie they do... even very much so. Confucius knew better than to try to give a ready procedure how to solve those conflicts - instead he recommanded a lot of common sense, patience and reflexion. He knew that there is no good solution in such a situation, but one can limit the damage... the best he can. And this problem is precisely described in this movie. And it is described with a breathtaking perfection!

This is a long and slow movie, so if you lack patience, you will not like it. If you like martial arts displays, you will be disappointed too, because even if there are some (not much), this is REALLY not the point of this movie. However if you like great cinema and especially if you like great Japanese cinema, this is what you need to see!

At least one of the female reviewers claimed that this is the kind of man, that every man should be, an example to everybody... but I believe she somehow missed one moment in the movie, during the conversation between Iguchi and Zenemon Yogo (this is the most important moment in the movie - do NOT miss it!). During this conversation, and especially at the end, you will see, that Iguchi is not as kind, simple and innocent you would believe... there is a part of the snake in this angel and there is some Dark Side in his Force... You will see it by yourself.

I loved this movie very much and I recommend it with all my heart.
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