Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai may actually be better than 13 Assassins.
It just proves you can't pigeonhole a filmmaker. Before 13 Assassins, who knew Takashi Miike could make a film like that? Thankfully, someone was smart enough to trust him and let him show us all we don't know shit about what he's capable of. It's so crazy looking at all the movies he has done and how he makes 2 or 3 almost every year. That's just insane, and yeah, some of his films are pretty nuts, but damn, he's inspiring.
Spoilers. Using the bamboo sword at the end (especially after he says his sword was his most prized possession and then it's revealed he got rid of the blade) has to be the coolest fucking thing ever. And I was told that isn't in the original. What a brilliant fucking idea. He doesn't need to use a real sword. He can humiliate them all with a bamboo one. Yeah, I'm a loser, and I love samurai films a little too much, but Hara-Kiri is fucking awesome.
Some reviewers said it was a little cold and distant emotionally. For me, seeing those two adorable innocent kids who had nothing to eat but some water and the tiniest bit of vegetable really got to me especially when the boy wanted so much to catch a fish for Miho yet you know the awful fate that awaits them. A lot of the film's heart is in the details like Miho's father telling them to go ahead and eat since he's meeting someone, but you know the truth is he just won't be eating and he doesn't want them to know.
I really think that time period is by far the most interesting for the samurai since you had what used to be a rich upper-class caste forced into extreme poverty as the entire country underwent a massive change and the way each individual reacted to such a grim situation says so much about their character. It's perfect for drama, and in some ways, how one deals with such overwhelming adversity, how one confronts the end, reveals the deepest truth of all about who we really are as people. Yep, I'm a loser.