Japan is at peace, the Samurai, with no one to fight, have become complacent and ill trained, hiding behind the honour that that comes with their name, but without truly embodying it. When a young Samurai shows up uninvited at a feudal lords house asking that he be allowed to commit ritual suicide there to regain some of the honour lost in becoming destitute, he sets in motion a slow burning story which culminates in a true demonstration of the honour of the warrior. Its a dark film, I mean literally I had to mess with the brightness on my tv to work out what was happening, that is not to say the photography is poor, the contrast works to highlight, and the darkest times in the characters lives occur in surroundings which befit them. This also isn’t for fans of the out and out Samurai action film, a sword is not drawn in anger truly till over an hour and a half into its two hour run time, but we need this to fully understand what is at stake. It is a revenge narrative where simply taking lives is not enough, in fact no lives are taken directly at all, and to know why this is the finest revenge you’ll just have to watch the movie. Look out for when the cats show up.
Hara-Kiri – Death of a Samurai