Shogun's Samurai details
|Starring:||Sonny Chiba, Yoshio Harada, Hiroki Matsukata, Toshiro Mifune, Etsuko Shihomi|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|Run time:||2 hours 10 minutes|
|Rental release:||21 Oct 2002|
Most helpful review
Epic StuffBy Stevieb47 (89 reviews) from Sheffield , 30 Jan 2005
[Highly rated reviewer]Kinji Fukasaku was one of Japan's most prolific directors - its ironic that his breakthrough movie in the West was the last one he made before his death at the age of 73 - that being Battle Royale.During the late '60's to the mid '70's he made a series of exellent Yakuza gangster movies then in 1978 turned to the historical epic with fine results.
It is 1624 - Japan after a lenthy civil war which resulted in the Emperor being marginaliased and the Shogun running the Government - the current Shogun has died suddenly leaving the succession in doubt - his eldest son Iemestsu should succedd but he is disfigured and stammers - his more handsome younger son Tadanaga has the backing of most of the powerful Lords.
Things get complicated very quickly when it becomes apparant that the Shogun was poisoned at the behest of Iemestsu's main supporter Yagyu(Kinnosuka Nakamaru) - Iemestu is as at first appalled by this but as the country get embroiled in the struggle he realises how much he needs Yagyu's support if he is to become Shogun.Meanwhile the Emperor and his courtiers plot behind the scenes to exploit the chaos and return to power.
It is an epic tale with political intregue,battles,assasanations and some spectacular sword-fights and the question of just how much would you sacrifice to attain power - Yagyu will stop at nothing to install Iemestu and this has appalling consequences for both the country and for him personally but he is willing to commit these - Nakamara is exellent in the role - at first you side with what he is trying to do but at the tragidy unfolds you realise what a monster he is.
Sonny Chiba is equally good as his eldest son who bears the brunt of one consequence of his Fathers action and he brings the whole thing to its tragic conclusion with more than a touch of hubris.
It hasn't quite got the epic feel of a Kurosawa but has a much more cynical take on political struggle - highly reccomeded.
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Iconic Japanese film really deliversBy showa58taro (6 reviews) from York , 16 Nov 2011No doubt this is not for everyone, with its complex plot, intensely ambiguous setting for good (and bad) guys, and trying to decipher where you stand throughout the whole film. It has a lot of talent both on screen and behind the camera which makes it a real masterful Japanese epic. Of particular note is the acting of the lead character, whose at times very advanced japanese phrasing is actually almost lost in translation.
Overall, it is an absolute delight to watch.
Epic struggleBy a customer from Folkestone , 07 Jan 2010These Japanese political thrillers tend to get very complex in the early stages and I often struggle to remember just who is who from a very large cast of characters. The plot always seems to take forever to reach boiling point as well, but stick with it because it is worth it in the end. You have to be a fan of the genre to appreciate the fight scenes but these too are delivered realistically.
ClassicBy Arhip (20 reviews) from southampton , 03 May 2006no words, be amazed by the simple brilliance of this masterpiece
I Claudius with swordsBy Martin Adamson from Edinburgh, Scotland , 26 Sep 2005Complicated historical drama, requiring close attention and minute knowledge of 17th century Japanese history. Look elsewhere if it's a straight-ahead chopping epic you're after.
one of the bestBy peter mullin from Bedfordshire England , 26 May 2005This is one of the best Japanese films I have seen for a long time taking into account the time it was made 1978 the story line is full and compleing as well as plenty of action there is feeling in the acting. I enjoyed this film and feel all who enjoy Japanese Films will also enjoy it
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