Monday, July 09, 2012

A heartbreaking look at love colliding with loyalty, tyranny

Tonight, I watched one of the most heartbreaking films on DVD.
MASAKI KOBAYASHI'S "JOI-UCHI: HAIRYO TSUMA SHIMATSU (SAMURAI REBELLION)" demonstrates what can happen when love collides with loyalty and tyranny.
Yoko Tsukasa stars as a feudal lord's mistress ordered to marry a vassal.
Soon after she and the vassal (Go Kato) fall in love, the lord's retainers demand she return, as she is the mother of the clan's sole remaining heir.
Her father-in-law, played by the great Toshiro Mifune, rejects this unjust decision, with terrible consequences for all of the principals.
It's not your typical samurai film. There's very little swordplay until the movie's stunning conclusion.
Instead, "Joi-uchi: Hairyo Tsuma Shimatsu" terrifies with its bleak portrayal of power and its disregard for humanity.
It's a classic film.


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