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Harakiri (Criterion Collection) back to product details

One of the grittiest Samurai movies ever
written by petromagne January 1, 2006 - 1:18 AM PST
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Many samurai movies were subverted into westerns (Seven Samurai/Magificient Seven, Yojimbo/A Fistful of Dollars, etc) but this one is all Japanese. Tatsuya Nakadia stars as the protagonist in this period drama, playing a ronin who asks to commit Seppuku (Harakiri), or ritual suicide. But nothing is quite as it seems in this gritty drama.

I first watched this film in a Japanese history class, because it so accurately portrayed this period in Japanese history. Hanshiro Tsugumo is a down on his luck ronin who would rather honorably commit suicide than continue living in squalor. However, as the story unfolds it becomes clear than Tsugumo has ulterior motives.

This is a must see movie for anyone who is a fan of Japanese history or japanese cinema. Tatsuya Nakadai gives an amazing performance, and the cinemotography is superb. The duels and swordfighting are exquistitely wrought and nearly poetic.


(Average 8.63)
81 Votes
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