Hara-Kiri – Tod eines Samurai (2011)

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Hara-Kiri – Tod eines Samurai: Directed by Takashi Miike. With Kôji Yakusho, Munetaka Aoki, Naoto Takenaka, Hikari Mitsushima. A tale of revenge, honor and disgrace, centering on a poverty-stricken samurai who discovers the fate of his ronin son-in-law, setting in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against the house of a feudal lord.

“HARA-KIRI: DEATH OF A SAMURAI is Takashi Miikeu0026#39;s follow-up to the crowd-pleasing, SEVEN SAMURAI-alike, 13 ASSASSINS. This film is a whole different kettle of fish entirely and itu0026#39;s almost as if Miike went deliberately out of his way to make an anti-13 ASSASSINS; thereu0026#39;s no action here, none of the wonderfully choreographed fight scenes that made his previous film such a smash.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eInstead, HARA-KIRI is an intense and emotional drama that explores notions of honour, familial ties and duty, packaging it in such a way that makes it a unique movie. As with most Miike, itu0026#39;s a sometimes obscure, often unwieldy production, deliberately going out of its way to be as slow-paced as possible and letting the story unfold in real time. Flashbacks are used extensively and those looking for an explosive, revenge-fuelled drama would do well to seek elsewhere as this isnu0026#39;t satisfying in that way at all.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eInstead, itu0026#39;s a unique beast. The first 30 minutes is completely horrifying, a grisly ordeal that nearly manages to outdo PASSION OF THE Christ in its depiction of on screen suffering and pain. The rest of the film is a slow burner, although it does build up to an effective climax of sorts. The actors are well accomplished, with the excellent Ebizo Ichikawa holding the fort for much of the time. Needless to say, the level of technical proficiency is high and the film as a whole is expertly made; the intense drama of the charactersu0026#39; ordeals makes it one of Miikeu0026#39;s most mature works yet.”


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