Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (English Subtitled) 2012 TV-MA

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(82) IMDb 7.3/10
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From Tribeca Film. Revenge, honor and disgrace collide when a samurai's request to commit ritual suicide leads to a tense showdown with his feudal lord. From cult auteur Takashi Miike (13 ASSASSINS). In Japanese w/ English subtitles.

Starring:
Kôji Yakusho, Munetaka Aoki
Runtime:
2 hours, 9 minutes

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Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (English Subtitled)

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Takashi Miike
Starring Kôji Yakusho, Munetaka Aoki
Supporting actors Naoto Takenaka, Hikari Mitsushima, Eita, Ebizô Ichikawa, Hirofumi Arai, Kazuki Namioka, Takashi Sasano, Ayumu Saitô, Goro Daimon, Takehiro Hira, Baijaku Nakamura, Yoshihisa Amano, Ippei Takahashi
Studio Tribeca Film
MPAA rating TV-MA
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Cinematography and acting were very good.
Frequent Amazon.com buyer
Miike as a filmmaker continues evolve in unpredictable directions, and while this film is not one of his masterpieces, it's certainly no embarrassment.
Richard H. Lewis
A movie that will keep your attention even though you are trying to look away.
Kai

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
We all have certain films that really resonate with us, that we remember distinctively and decisively for any number of reasons. For me, Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 classic "Harakiri" is one of those experiences. I didn't know anything about the movie before I sat down to watch it, and it absolutely blew me away. A quiet morality play that really challenges the notion of what honor means, "Harakiri" has a power, honesty, and emotional impact that is earned through a surprisingly understated narrative device. Instead of explosive dramatics, the screenplay takes its time in unraveling. And this focus on character development makes the ultimate confrontation both heartrending and harrowing! When I heard that prolific Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike was on board for a remake, I had feelings of both optimism and apprehension. I think the original holds up quite well and there is little to improve. But I've followed Miike for years and loved much of his work. Though, to be fair, I don't know that I've ever considered him understated in his projects! However, my worries were unfounded. Miike approaches "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" with a real sense of respect, restraint and maturity.

In many ways, maybe our era of financial turmoil is the perfect time to resurrect this story. "Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" tells of a time when many legendary swordsmen found themselves struggling to get by. These ronin, having no house or master, were left with little but their honor and their swords to survive in economically challenging times. As "Hara-Kiri" opens, a samurai named Hanshiro (Ebizo Ichikawa) approaches the house of the ruling lord to request the opportunity to commit ritual suicide (considered an honorable death) in the courtyard. This has become somewhat of a trend, though.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard H. Lewis on November 13, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Being a fan of Japanese cinema in general and Kobayashi's original film in particular, I was a bit skeptical of this remake, and might not have bothered had it come from any other filmmaker. But Takashi Miike is a true cinema rebel, and the one constant in his sprawling body of work is his capacity to surprise. Here I thought he might find opportunities for spectacular violence and at least one outrageous action sequence, but was concerned to see if his usual over-the-top, anything-goes style would spoil such a classically elegant story of political rebellion examined through the lens of personal tragedy.

Once again, Miike the trickster caught me off-guard. While Kobayashi's film is an ice-cold, austere indictment of what happens when a moral code of behavior becomes an anachronism, Miike's is surprisingly warm - which, naturally, makes the impending tragedy all the more heart-wrenching. I've watched the original film's opening disembowelment scene at least half a dozen times, and while it's always cringe-inducing, it never moved me the way that Miike's treatment of the scene did. In spite of my expectations, Miike kept it simple and focused, rather than painting the set in blood. His restraint pays off in spades, and even though I knew exactly where the story was going, I found myself pulled in immediately. Kobayashi's film is awe-inspiring, but never moved me to tears; Miike's, while less grand and stately, had me wiping my eyes before the final reel of explosive violence.

Overall, I was very impressed with Miike's restraint and compassion. It's hard to compare this film to the original version, simply because no modern actor would be able to match Tatsuya Nakadai.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Chris on July 19, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Takashi Miike has done it again! Or has he? We know Miike for his taste in gory and disturbing films. Which is exactly why we love him for it. He crosses the boundaries, and tests his limits. In this film he spoke to us a bit differently, we didn't see too much action and blood in this beautiful movie, but what we did see is vengeance and love. a 10/10 in my book, were seeing a different side of Takashi again and we (the fans) hope he makes more like this classic piece.

Chris
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. K. Lidster TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 14, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
An absolutely beautiful and haunting film from director Takashi Miike, who also directed '13 Assassins'; taken together, both movies stand as perhaps the best examples of samurai-cinema since director Akira Kurosawa and actor Toshiro Mifune filmed 'Yojimbo', 'Sanjuro', and 'Throne of Blood'... or since director Masaki Kobayashi and actor Tatsuya Nakadai filmed the original 'Hara Kiri' in 1964. Kobayashi's masterpiece was a dark and tragic contrast to most of Kurosawa's films, and star Tatsuya Nakadai -- who was also in the Kurosawa classic 'Ran' -- gives his contemporary counterpart Ebizô Ichikawa a very difficult performance to match, transcend, or reinterpret. Ichizawa looks inward instead, with a brilliant and passionate portrayal rooted in the universal language of suffering.

The story takes place in 17th century Japan, a few decades after the bloodshed at the battle of Sekigahara in 1600 effectively consolidated political power. After some internal conflict, the Tokugawa clan assumes control, establishing a Shogunate that will rule for over 200 years, ending after the last samurai's of the last Shogun are defeated by the modern, rifle-bearing soldiers of the Emperor in 1867. The end of the Sengoku, or 'warring states', period of Japanese history meant peace for the people (it also often meant crippling poverty and famine, working themselves to death to pay the unreasonable, uncompromising taxes imposed by Edo), but it represented a long, slow decline for the hereditary Samurai class, many of them finding themselves without work, without money, without a Daimyo, and without a reason for living. Living by the Bushido code meant dying by the Bushido code, and the code demanded that a warrior who had failed his lord commit suicide by Hara-Kiri (or Seppuku).
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