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The 13 Assassins, Movie Review Example

Pages: 2

Words: 621

Movie Review

Introduction

The film of the 13 Assassins is a story set in the 1840’s in the final years of the Samurai in Japan.  The film was from the Japanese Director Takashi Miike who is well known for his somewhat violent and intense films.  This film is not really suitable for children because of the intense battle scenes and horrific scenes of violence and gore.

Plot

The story set in 1844 depicts the samurai Sinzaemon Shimada who has elected to assassinate a sociopath Lord Naritsugu, a delightful person who cuts off the arms ands legs of his female companions once he is finished with them. The war lord is destined to advance to a powerful position and the Samurai needs to find 11 more volunteers to undertake the dangerous mission of his assassination.  They eventually recruit 13 and the team engage in a fierce and prolonged bloody battle.  The final 45 minutes of the movie is a carnival of blood spaying, sputtered blood, hacked off limbs and rivers of blood and dead bodies.  The movie offers little in the way of meaningful entertainment or historical value.

Impressions of the movie are poor because it devotes some 45 minutes of 141 minutes on the horrific gory battle scenes.  Seeing people mutilated, tortured and raped does not constitute entertainment in my opinion.  The antagonist is that of Lord Naritsugu who has infuriated the Samurai (protagonist) by committing acts of barbarism against the people.  The setting depicts the era of  change in Japan with the demise of the chivalrous but violent Samurai clan in favour of the rise of wealthy merchants who were unscrupulous and lacked the chivalry and code of honour of the Samurai

Relations to 47 Ronin Story

During the 18th Century Japan was faced with a terrible set of tumultuous changes.  We witnessed the emerging rise of a wealthy merchant class and these were replacing the power a privileges of the Samurai warriors.  In the story Lord Asano of Ako  became involved in one of the most bloodiest acts of revenge in Japanese history.  Lord Asano attacked corrupt officials and set into play a series of events which socked the country. At the end there emerged the heroes of 47 Ronin or ex Samurai of Ako.  Similar themes are acts of revenge, acts of extreme brutality and violence and the question of the honour of the Samurai in changing and difficult times in Japanese history.  The author John Allyn does tend to provide more of a story and gets into more historical facts of the Samurai period.

Themes

The main theme of the movie is that of revenge; it invites the audience to rejoice in the death of an evil sociopath and implies that the brave samurai are engaged in an act of purification and elimination of unspeakable evil.  Honour is portrayed through the leader of the Samurai and his loyal followers.  The leader invokes team spirit in a sense of common purpose in order to achieve the mission.

The Samurai are not really good role models because they see the solution of resolving the issue through acts of extreme violence and revenge.  It portrays a certain vigilante action that is disrespectful of the rule of law and the legal process in order to resolve disputes.  The basis is that by killing the one man it will save the lives of many.  History as show such philosophy to be flawed and through the demise of one bad person another rises to take his place.  As such it is not really solving the problem.   Much of the Japanese cinematography of this period focuses upon the importance of individual honour,  the dilemma of loss of face, often resulting in ritual suicide.  Battle scenes are high energy but personally I find them rather distasteful.

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