A humble and simple Takezo abandons his life as a knight errant. He’s sought as a teacher and vassal by Shogun, Japan’s most powerful clan leader. He’s also challenged to fight by the supremely confident and skillful Sasaki Kojiro. Takezo agrees to fight Kojiro in a year’s time but rejects Shogun’s patronage, choosing instead to live on the edge of a village, raising vegetables. He’s followed there by Otsu and later by Akemi, both in love with him. The year ends as Takezo assists the villagers against a band of brigands. He seeks Otsu’s forgiveness and accepts her love, then sets off across the water to Ganryu Island for his final contest.
User Reviews: I feel very confident and content once I finished watching the trilogy. What starts of a nothing end on greatness. Lots of things have been said in the movie about the humans, the way they live, they behave, they treat others and above all their desires grooved in the very depth of the heart. What is most likable is the mildness with which things are being said but every bit needs to be heard with full attention. After watching the trilogy I read the book written by Miyamoto (A book of five rings Must read) himself and got an inside more clearly.
Now the movies, all three are gems without a second thought. The acting, cinematography and above all the direction is very good. Emphasis on little things, shades of lights (sun is setting etc) and even water (streams, rivers) everything is perfectly matched with the movie to the core. Above all is the way Mifune enacted the role, the way he delivers the expressions for an arrogant in the first outing, then the confused man and in the last gentle, kind and wise person is extremely believable and I have no doubt in saying that I can’t imagine someone else in the role.
A must watch trilogy.
8.5/10 (all three movies)