After a spate of okey dokey movies here is one I really loved.
In a word this movie is:
Beautiful in every sense of the word.
Beautiful – in the sensitivity with which the lives of some of the players, who are part of the losing side, are portrayed during the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Beautiful – in the way the the visuals are shot, with Nature often pointing a mirror to the state of human relationships
Beautiful – in the way individual relationships are portrayed, in isolation to the teeming world around them
Beautiful – in bringing out the delicate nature of the heart, even in the face of the cold nature of societies rules or the hot state of affairs in wartime
Beautiful – in the way the writer has managed to pick up a stor about the Shinsen Gumi and give a character in it a completely different take from what is expected of these warrors
and above all
Beautiful as in the beautiful beautiful acting by the main characters who manage to bring out the story with so much force, and so much love.
It is not an art movie, it is not world cinema, it is not just a samurai’s tale of heroics.
It is about a learned and sensitive man, caring and loving, and the decisions he needs to make at the same time as big decisions are made about the future of his country. And it is about his antagonist.
And finally it is about money, in the way people less priveleged than me would look at it.
P.S: I did know about the general history of the Shinsen Gumi and about the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate before seeing this movie.(Thanks to Rurouni Kenshin)
For a good review hop over to Kungfu Cinema.