I have to say I was blown away by this newer version of "Ôoku"! It turned out to be much better then we imagined it would be.
But first of all, let me say that I don't know why someone wrote Sci-Fi for the genre here at IMDb. It doesn't even come close to a Sci-fi flick. I was not expecting a story with such depth tho...The cinematography, the art direction, and the sheer enormity of the visuals were as beautiful as expected of Japan in various seasons. And even more, the acting was superb! Very emotional at times. Personally, I think that the characters are very well developed because they are complex, deceptive and quite multi-dimensional in their basic human drives. They make sense within the constraints in which they are cast. We get the full spectrum of a movie; varied scenery and ambiance, multiple stories, realistic characters, a realistic society portrait, and so on. Certainly, this movie has strong characters, but like the inner chambers of any Shogun's castle, they are puppets. Along with intense & emotional moments, it concludes with a mind blowing twist that'll keep this movie on your mind long after it's over.
Lastly, the filmmakers who designed and implemented all the sets and costumes should take a hell of a lot of pride in what they do. Some of the most lavish personal quarters and outfits I've ever seen in a Japanese flick of this time period!
Overall, it's an entertaining movie with an understandable story and believable characters that no Japanese movie lover should miss! :)
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