Set during Japan's Shogun era, this film looks at life in a samurai compound where young warriors are trained in swordfighting. A number of interpersonal conflicts are brewing in the training room, all centering around a handsome young samurai named Sozaburo Kano. The school's stern master can choose to intervene, or to let Kano decide his own path.Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
This was the only Kitano movie I had seen until Brother, and I thought he was someone else in the movie. And then I saw a "more impressive" actor... who turned out to be Kitano. Doh! The story of this was very interesting, and I'm not sure how it'd go over in America. It explores homosexuality and it's relative openness in the samurai, and is based around a handsome young man, who a lot of men fall in love with. These men start turning up dead, and a jealous member of the clan is suspected. The movie gets confusing at times, but I think that is more because of a cultural difference than script downfalls. Kitano is brilliant in this one as the captain who seems to be struggling to hide his affections for the young man (Ryuhei Matsuda as Sozaburo Kano). There are several branching storylines, but they all lead back to the main one. Not a masterpiece of anything, but more quality Asian cinema.
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