Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Miike's Hara-Kiri is beautifully directed, but it's also depressing, boring in parts, and not terribly original. 

I'm having a problem finding movies I'm interested in. I was watching the trailer for Blitz seeing if I could get into it enough to watch it, and I felt like I wanted to see something with swords. I had Hara-Kiri on my list of movies to watch, so I watched the trailer for that. I wasn't exactly sold, but I decided to go with it anyway. I wanted something with a little substance, even if I was running the risk of being bored.

Apparently, according to IMDb, the original was better. I didn't even know there was an original. I found out about the remake when I was looking through Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's reviews. He liked it, and I've always been interested in Miike's stuff. 13 Assassins was good, although everything before that was pretty crazy. I can't even believe I watched that stuff anymore. Supposedly the original draws you in more, and there's more dialogue between the father and the clan guy.

That would've been good, because my suspicions were right: I got bored, especially in the middle. I really lost interested when they took the focus away from the present-day stuff and started talking about how Hanshirô knew Motome. The cinematography was great, though. I loved the camerawork and the sets. It really was beautifully directed. I don't know why Miike shot it in 3D. That probably didn't add much, although it would've been a good effect with the falling snow. 

I liked the slow, deliberate pacing of the camera and people's movements, and the fact that we saw what happened to Motome and then afterward learned why it happened made it more interesting.

His life was so sad. Hanshirô never should've made him marry Miho. He couldn't afford to. It's a really interesting situation to think about, though. He was desperate to save Miho and Kingo, but he had to understand, if you're going to go somewhere and ask to kill yourself, you'd better be prepared to follow through with it. I think it did show a certain lack of honor that he didn't have any intention of doing it. I guess he was just acting in their best interest; they didn't get anything out of him killing himself, either.

It's tough to look at the situation and say the clan was justified in what they did, but you can't just have people showing up and threatening to kill themselves unless you give them jobs or money. They definitely should've given him a sword, though. He didn't bring a wooden sword because he was bluffing; he did it because he had to sell his real one.

I didn't realize Hanshirô was Miho's father until the flashback at the end when he's almost dead, so that would've changed a lot for me during the movie. He looked so young, I thought he was just a friend of Motome. I kept thinking, "I wonder how Hanshirô knows Motome?" I figured Miho's father just told Hanshirô about what happened.

I liked what they did with having the clan have a fat cat, and Motome's cat is skinny and then it dies. That was a bummer, though. And who knew dropping some eggs could have such an impact? I think he should've been more careful with them, though. Maybe even think ahead and bring a bag or something to put them in.

I wasn't impressed with the fight scene. It was hard to tell what was going on, and it was so long and drawn out. I just wanted them to stop running around already. It's terrible that the Emperor had so much control over everyone, and just because Motome's people joined his side too late they basically all had to be poor and homeless and die.

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