A story of honour and revenge. The 47 Ronin is a classic tale dealing with the conflict of loyalty to the Shogun and ones own lord, but here it is told with patience and a deft Japanese touch. With great actors and beautiful cinematography a great movie.
In 18th century Japan, society is ruled by the ettiquette set by the Imperial Shogun. When a young lord refuses to become involved with a corrupt chancellor, his lands are forfeited and his samurai disbanded. The samurai are torn between orders from the Shogun and loyalty to their lord. 47 Ronin (Chushingura) is a true classic of Japanese cinema.
The 47 Ronin / Chushingura Movie Review
By DVD Verdict
"Chushingura is director Hiroshi Inagaki's take on the tale of 47 loyal ronin who plot revenge on the man who orchestrated their master's death. The story of Chushingura is so popular in Japan, Inagaki's is roughly the fifth (and most famous) version released in the thirty years spanning 1932 to 1962.
…The logical question to ask is, how does it compare with Seven Samurai or other films by Akira Kurosawa, Japanese films with which a western audience is likely to be more familiar? Well, Chushingura is more purely Japanese. Honor, ceremonial propriety, and group identity are central in the world of Chushingura, a world in which the Shogunate is still strong and exerting enormous top-down social influence. In other words, Chushingura is very specifically culturally Japanese; one's knowledge of feudal Japan will affect one's understanding and enjoyment of the film. It's hard to imagine Kurosawa making a film that takes place in the same period as Chushingura, or making his own version of Chushingura. Kurosawa is more fascinated with periods of civil war, periods in which rigid social strictures have broken down and individuals are unmoored from their old roles, their old duties. The ronin of Seven Samurai are caught between two worlds; the film ends with their acknowledgement that they can't regain the world they've lost and they will never find a place in the new world with which they're confronted.
So, is Chushingura any good? Hell, yes. I don't want to give a wrong impression. One doesn't have to hold a post-graduate degree in Japanese history to enjoy the film. I certainly don't. On many levels, it's a fun adventure film. It tends to be a little more David Lean than Kurosawa in its fascination with long shots of beautiful scenery (there's certainly nothing wrong with that; Lawrence Of Arabia would probably be right after Seven Samurai on my list of favorite films). It's often (annoyingly) referred to as Japan's Gone with the Wind, and its pacing is very similar, slow but deliberate with much of the intrigue centered in interaction between characters rather than swordplay. Hiroshi Inagaki knows how to make a good film; among his body of work is the epic Samurai trilogy, based on the life of the master swordsman Miyamoto Musashi and starring the most famous actor in Japanese film history, and frequent Kurosawa collaborator, Toshiro Mifune. Trust me, when you watch this film, you're in good hands…"
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
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