Shinnojo Mimura is a Samurai sharing a hand to mouth existence with his wife, Kayo. Frustrated by his lowly status within the castle ranks, Shinnojo dreams of better days instructing children in the way of the sword. But destiny, it would seem, has other plans...A freak accident takes the warrior's sight, leaving Shinnojo cursed. Losing his status and pride, his hopes and dreams, and even himself to this life of eternal darkness, only one path lies open for Shinnojo: that of the true and noble Samurai.
Superbly poised and beautifully executed tale
- Love and Honour review by DJ
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You rated this film: 5
The third in Yoji Yamada's trilogy, this one stands above the other two in the simplicity and delicacy of story and execution.
The film could work as an emblem of all that holds the West in sway about certain aspects of Japanese cinema: the restraint of emotion that seems to speak all the more profoundly of its depth; the brilliantly rendered final act of violence that grips the whole film as we anticipate its conclusion and never disappointing in its realisation; the story that appears esoteric in its details and yet resonates with such universal quality and meaning.
While I also love the work of Japanese-Maestro Miike, this film (and the rest in the trilogy) throws up an interesting counter-point to the oeuvre of Miike. Where Miike is all energy and sensory bombardment, here it is all studied quietude and contemplated action.
A gorgeous film and a perfect example of Japanese cinema's transcendental qualities.
A disappointing follow up.
- Love and Honour review by Shatner's Bassoon
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You rated this film: 2
I loved Yoji Yamada's 'Twilight Samurai' and 'The Hidden Blade' but this third effort in his Samurai trilogy, for me was a poor follow up. The often predictable story follows that of a low ranking Samurai named ‘Kimura’, who after a freak accident as a food taster for the head of his clan loses his sight. Facing financial hardship his wife seeks the help of the clans’ head of security, who then takes advantage of Kimura’s pretty wife who he has admired since she was a schoolgirl. Kimura, not only having to deal with his newly inflicted disability now has to deal with the infidelity of his wife and plans revenge on the man who brought shame to his family. While the acting and direction is universally good, the story is just too predictable, formula driven and nothing that hasn’t been done before. If you’re looking for a good Japanese period drama with bags of depth and an involving storyline then check out Yamada’s previous films 'Twilight Samurai' and 'The Hidden Blade' and Yojiro Takita’s superb ‘When The Last Sword Is Drawn’ which is easily one of the best Japanese films of the last decade.