ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Review of Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Updated on July 14, 2014

Other Great Films Directed by Takashi Miike:

  • 13 Assassins
  • The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji
  • Big Bang Love: Juvenile A
  • Crows Zero II

Storytelling

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai is a movie that uses phenomenal storytelling. It throws the audience into the lives of Samurai, forcing us to take a long hard look at what it means to have honour, and the many different ways that it can manifest itself, particularly in times of peace. With a highly talented cast, the themes of and beautiful displays of love, honour, pride and loyalty are seen and experienced in a most tangible way. This film is intelligent, well written and directed. It is one of the best films of 2011 and another great addition to its genre.

A Time of Peace

As it is with all warriors in times of peace, there often comes a time of unrest. In Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai the time of peace is a difficult thing. The samuari's skills are no longer in demand, which, for the average citizen are a cause for joy, but for the average samurai, especially those burdened with the responsibility of family, they are threatened with poverty and desperation. The film focuses on one such samurai's tale of economic defeat and struggles, propelling him into uncomfortable situations made through rash decisions. The consequences of those decisions unfold as a series of unfortunate events, unravelling and trampelling around all who encounter its path.

Directed by Takashi Miike, this film makes full use of the beautiful landscape to great effect. The screen shots, not always so elaborately, are used well in conjunction with the characters emotional responses, and are used appropriately to properly convey the story to the audience. Unfortunately the film starts off rather slowly, a possible deterrent for some potential viewers. It picks up pace eventually, but it does get a little boring for a while before that happens. There are also moments when an event or two feels a little dragged out, leaving the viewer a little short on patience.

The Actors

In addition to the smartly organized storytelling and good directing, the acting in this film was top notch. This can be attributed to the film's roster of such talented actors.

Ebizô Ichikawa born Horikoshi Takatoshi, is a well known Japense actor who takes on the lead role as a widower samuari named Hanshirô Tsugumo. He becomes the sole guardian of his fragile daughter Miho and eventurally becomes the ward of his best friend's son Motome Chijiiwa. Taking on almost two different personalities in this film - that of the loving father, and that of the avenger - he does the character justice.

Motome, the second protagonist in this film is played by Eita Nagayama. He is best known for his work in Azumi, Memories of Matsuko and Dear Doctor. In this film, he shines. His body language and array of facial expressions hooks the audience into his world. His pain is so realistic that is very nearly tangible, and at times, difficult to watch.

Much like Eita, Hikari Mitsushima who plays Miho Tsugumo, Hanshirô's daughter, she pulled off a very impressive performance. Sickly and frail, Miho goes through several different harrowing experiences that leaves her hallow and broken. Hikari's portrayal of Miho is spot-on, enriching the storyline all the more.

Koji Hashimoto is an actor and director who, unlike the other actors in this movie, have a little less work to do when it comes to displays of emotion. Even so, he is impressive and onscreen he commands an almost regal air about him. He plays Kageyu, the Feudal Lord's right hand man.

Subplots

Another wonderful thing about this film is that each subplot was given an adequate amount of time to be played out. Nothing was rushed and the movie benefited a great deal from that. The creative and highly effective way that the story of the Samurai's came to be was done with great finesse; so much so that it reminded me of the classics Fight Club and Memento.

Unlike many other Samurai movies, this one lacked the blood and gorge that is usually featured throughout. Instead this film focused primarily on the storyline. The emotions of the characters and the desperation of their plight was heavily emphasised. This shift from heavy action to heavy storytelling worked exceptionally well in this film.

To Rent or Not to Rent

This film is definitely rent worthy. Whether ordering from iTunes or Netflix or simply borrowing it from the library, it is certainly worth your time.

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai Trailer

3 1/2 stars

3 stars for Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)