47RoninI have been into a movie kick lately. For some reason I have been getting into samurai movies big time lately. There is a trend to make samurai flicks more dramatic, more human and get away from the “fountains of blood” approach prevalent in the 70s and 80s.

Watched Kon Ichikawa’s 47 Ronin over the weekend. Its the classic story of the Loyal 47 Ronin. (See the Wiki synopsis of the true story of the Asano ronin here) The revered story of devotion to duty and loyalty (giri in bushido) has been made into countless movies, TV shows, books, and manga. This particlar adaptation is well filmed but very quick, almost rushed. It jumps into the middle of the story and proceeds forward before suddenly bactracking to Lord Asano’s seppuku and their oath that starts the Chushingura story. It also rushes through several subplots with barely a pause for breath. best quote of the movie: “A samurai who doesn’t know accounting is useless.” The action gets rolling at the end and the pacing suits the story well as the battle unfolds. The editing of the battle in Kira’s compound needs some work as the movie fails to get a sense of layout of the mansion grounds across and the logic and planning that went into their attack is lost. All in all the styling and wonerful photography do redeem the movie along with very strong acting especially from Koji Ishizaka. I really want to know more of what happened in the story and plan on getting more on this historical event.