A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.A crafty ronin comes to a town divided by two criminal gangs and decides to play them against each other to free the town.
The story follows our hero, a masterless samurai, who drifts into a bizarre little turf war between 2 rival gangs. The 2 gangs, backed by the "silk trader" and the "sake brewer", are mostly incompetent yet extremely violent and willing to hire any scoundrel who will fight. Our sly hero sees an opportunity.
That's all I'll say about the plot because the rest is for you to discover. It's definitely a fun and exciting ride from start to finish, so fun that you may not realize that you are watching a fantastic work of art. Scenes are meticulously composed, choreographed, lighted, and filmed with such precision that any frame could be a photo to hang on your wall.
Let's just take one example, one of the opening scenes. Our hero enters the town and is greeted by barren streets, shuttered windows, and... what's this from afar? A cute little dog in the distance. The camera, situated behind our hero so that we see him in the frame, keeps a tight focus on the little dog as the dog trots closer, and we start to make out something the dog has in his mouth. Closer, closer, always in perfect focus (which was no easy task with a telephoto lens), the dog comes to the foreground and we see the object so clearly that we can make out every detail: a human hand. What a bizarre and darkly comical start.
Like the rest of the movie, that scene demonstrates technical wizardry as well as just plain old fun. There's a lot of humor, a lot of action, a lot of suspense, and a LOT of artistic magnificence. Take your pick and watch this film many times.
- Sep 12, 2020