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MovieMeditation presents...
total movie count ........... current day count
176 .......................... 165


May 19th

—— 1962 ——
—— drama ——

Definitely one of my most anticipated watches for the 1960s,
while also being a long awaited viewing in the general sense of the word

I have wanted to watch it for quite some time, but I was always a little afraid to dive into it and finding out I was not in the mood or that it wouldn’t live up to its reputation. Even though I had an urge to experience this supposed masterpiece, I eventually chose to read as little as possible about it, hoping that this tactic would bring me the most complete experience imaginable…

I must say the film definitely took me by surprise, neither in a negative nor positive way, but somewhere in between. I obviously couldn’t predict what the film would essentially be about, now when I determinately decided to keep my eyes and ears shut for so long, almost turning to hara-kiri myself because of the agonizing anticipation. If anything, my main expectations were more action orientated than drama dominated, that is for sure... I wasn’t at all expecting this film to feel like a long walk to meet one’s maker, and quite literally so, while debating all sorts of old traditional ways of life in Japanese culture. In the film, the ancient morals of the samurai regime are put to the test, wherein the very honor and morality of being a samurai are questioned to uncertainty. The film works as a very interesting view on these things, as well as the basic foundation of a human being – whether samurai or not. I was staggered by the storytelling used in this film, how it grew out from those previously mentioned elements, and how it was essentially told over very little time. Just as the samurai in question began to tell his story, the understanding behind it all didn’t just become clear to the fictional spectators, but also to the filmic ones. We, as an audience, learned and understood the characters in the film as the story progressed, while our own partial judgments almost subsisted within the movie. We were the hangmen. In a story we hadn’t even gotten the hang of yet.

If I were to complain about anything in this film, it would be rather hard to do. There is no doubt that this is masterful filmmaking at its finest, but I still have a few nitpicks I want to point out. Even though I was previously praising the prolonging evolvement of a fairly simplistic tale, I still think the story could have been shortened slightly and felt all the more impactful for it. I was never actually bored during the film, but I felt like some segments were dragged and certain morals repeated. With that said, I still found it astounding how the film seemed to constantly reinvent itself and recreate the tension you believed to be lost for a split-second. In the end, it continuously managed to pick up just when it needed to; spilling out new information when it was required the most; exactly how the main character spoke for his own life during the film. The final battle was much anticipated, but I ultimately felt a bit underwhelmed. I did enjoy the one-on-one fight quite a lot though. Ultimately, it doesn’t change the overall impact of the film, which I still find rather amazing. Will ever feel perfect? That a rewatch has to decide...