Young yakuza Shujiro Hanada (Takakura) goes to prison after losing his cool in a rigged gambling game and slashing a few other players. When he's released in 1927, the world has changed. ... See full summary »
Young yakuza Shujiro Hanada (Takakura) goes to prison after losing his cool in a rigged gambling game and slashing a few other players. When he's released in 1927, the world has changed. His sister died in the Great Kanto Earthquake and his father is also gone. His brother Jukichi (Ikebe) invites him to stay at his in-laws and works in their family pub. Shujiro is trying to go straight. He lies low, helping his blind mother-in-law (Araki) and slowly developing a relationship with Ikuye (Fuji), the hostess who helped him before his arrest. But trouble lurks when the resident gang decides to show its strength. It all leads to a showdown between the two brothers and around 20 sword-wielding gangsters. This is the seventh of nine movies in the Brutal Tales of Chivalry series. The title translates roughly to The Gift of Death. This was pretty dumb, but that's not why we watch. We like to see the stoic Takakura pushed to the edge and fight back. It takes a long time for him to lose his cool this time. Which means, if we don't understand the Japanese, we sit and contemplate the setting: a rough neighborhood in working- class Tokyo in the late twenties, with its tight bonds and codes of honor.