13 January 2020 | keikoyoshikawa
Pales in Comparison to the Original
I really wanted to like this Japanese version of the brilliant "Unforgiven" more, but it simply did not measure up to the original.
The Good: Using rural Hokkaido as the backdrop was a smart decision, though I wish there was more focus on the Ainu. They are the island's indigenous people conquered by the Japanese, and their culture suffered greatly. I think this would have made the story much more interesting, especially since the young rebel is half-Ainu.
The Bad: The movie follows the plot of the original almost to the T, and thus suffers for it. There was no need for it, and simply copying the theme of the Amercian version while telling a new story about the Japanese frontier would have made for a much stronger film. There is such a scarcity of good movies about the Ainu that it is a wasted opportunity.