CINE-CITY Diary 24th November – Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai 3D
We are on a roll now, continuing the coverage of Cine-City’s Brighton Film Festival, last night was Hara-Kiri.
A Samurai film? Takashi Miike? Sign me up, oh hold on it is 3D? Riiiight. I don’t know about that.
That was pretty much the conversation I had with myself when reading up about last nights film. I love Samurai flicks, but I just didn’t see the point of 3D. Luckily I went and tried, and I actually really liked the outcome.
Here is our review..
TITLE – HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI YEAR – 2011 DIRECTOR – TASHI MIIKE CAST – KOJI YAKUSHO, NAOTO TAKENAKA, HIKARI MITSUSHIMA WRITERS – KIKUMI YAMAGISHI, YASUHIKO TAKIGUCHI
Deciding to stay with the Samurai genre for his follow up film after last years 13 Assassins, Takashi Miike takes us to the other end of the scale when it comes to energy and passion.
HARA-KIRI is adapted from Yasuhiko Tahiguchi’s novel and has already had an outing on celluloid in 1962 under the supervision of Masaki Kobayashi. The story stays clear of any high action set pieces instead it concentrates on the intense honor of the Samurai.
Times in Japan are peaceful, unemployed Ronin, who were once highly respected are now unwanted. They have no other skills apart from war, and therefore many are impoverished. In desperation some have resorted to requesting the court yard of the great houses to commit their ritual suicide, but often they are just hoping to get a few coins or even a job offer through pity. It is called a suicide bluff.
Hanshiro is one such Ronin. He has arrived at the House of Li to make his request. But he is not the first to do so, the senior retainer of the House gives him audience and tells a tale of an earlier Ronin, Motome, who had made the same request, but had no intention of going through with the ritual. Hanshiro seems unflustered by the tale, and is determined to carry on with his wish. What is he hiding?
With Hara-Kiri, Miike shows a more delicate way for telling a story. The story unfolds slowly infront of our eyes. At first we have no idea why the young Motome had found himself at the gates of The House of Li, one starts to question his honor, is he really just doing this for a quick payout? But as we learn more, as the story branches out, we truly see the motives behind all the ritual are enforced with more than blind honor.
Shot in monochromatic colours Hara Kiri is a controlled masterpiece. When flashes of colour are introduced, red mainly, it really pops off the screen. When it comes to the 3D, there wasn’t any need for it to be there for 90% of the running time, but like the flashes of red when Miike added more depth of field for the finale it really helped to add to the tension.
Miike has done it again, and delivered a stunning yet emotional film, that hits you where it hurts, right in the GUT
[starreview tpl=16 size='30']
Have you seen this film? Are you a fan on Miike? Comment below…