Tuesday, October 4, 2011

VIFF 2011 Review - Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Last year at the fest I saw director Takashi Miike′s first foray into Samurai movie remakes 13 Assassins. That film is a blood soaked adventure that delivers tons of Samurai action. Miike followed that film with this, another remake of a classic Samurai film. This time though, instead of a film filled with action and decapitations, we get a slow, thoughtful drama about honour.

Any plot summary will ruin the film, so there is no point in giving one. I have no idea when, or even if this will get as big a release as 13 Assassins, but I somehow doubt it. The film is going to repel some people because it is mostly just people talking. This makes me wonder why the decision was made to make this a 3D film. Unlike 13 Assassins, Hara-Kari takes place in very few locations, none of which are at all fantastic to look at. This movie is all about the characters, so it would have made more sense to make 13 Assassins a 3D film, not this.

Going in knowing what this film is like will definitely help the viewing experience. I expected from the lack of buzz around this that it would be rather slow, and I was correct. That's not to say that I wasn’t riveted the entire movie. Honor, what it is, and how it is earned is and interesting subject. This movie suggests that honor isn’t earned by doing something because it is tradition, it is earned by doing things that are right.

There really isn’t more that can be said about this film. It is a bit heavy handed at times, especially in the middle of the film, but I couldn't think of much else that could have been done. It's a Samurai movie, and a good one at that. If your interested in Samurai culture and the thought process that goes into their actions see it. If your more interested in action and blood, see 13 Assassins if you haven’t, watch it again if you have.

A Gold Banana

No comments:

Post a Comment