Starring Tatsuya Nakadai, Rentarō Mikuni, Shima Iwashita, Tetsurō Tamba, Kei Sato, Akira Ishihama
Suspenseful. Skillful. Powerful.
Historical drama set in 17th century Tokyo (then Edo), a time of peace for the country. For the samurais that fought for decades prior, peace means that they are out of a job. One vagrant samurai stranger shows up at a palace and asks to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) on their premises. Unsure of his motives since a number of honorless samurai have asked the same thing with the hope of receiving hand outs instead, the palace guards seek to test this mysterious visitor. They tell him a story of the last samurai who showed up on their grounds asking to commit seppuku. It’s a gruesome story they tell. “With that in mind, are you sure you want to continue?” they ask their stranger. “I assure you I have every intention of dying here today,” he responds ominously, and so begins a masterful, evocative, passionate, beautiful film about revenge that slowly simmers to a glorious climax of blood and tears. Special samurai picture.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-