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Samurai Rebellion (The Criterion Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
quite interesting. A woman, Lady Ichi, is forced by the regional Lord to marry into the family of a vassal (Samurai Isaburo played by the incomparable Toshiro Mifune) because she insulted the Lord in public. After two years, Isaburo's son and Lady Ichi fall in love; they have a daughter. All is well except it becomes convenient for the Lord to demand return of the woman and annul the marriage...thus Lady Ichi is twice betrayed. Samurai Isaburo is incensed. He and his son resist the claim of the Lord to take the woman back and literally fight to the death for the right of Lady Ichi and his son to love each other and legitimize the daughter. Throughout, the movie is quite sympathetic to women issues and Lady Ichi is portrayed magnificently.
What makes the movie so outstanding is the way in which sound, music, and photography are combined to reinforce the themes of the film. Literally, every frame of the movie has some symbolic significance: the positions of the parties, the carefully phrased speech of the protoganists and agonists, the sound of wind. Every frame is an art piece - like a still life. (This is the style of another of the director's masterpieces of historical Japan - HARAKIRI). If THRONE OF BLOOD is the Japanese version of Macbeth, SAMURAI REBLLION is the Japanese version of the Iliad. I loved it.
Kobayashi's cinematography is brilliant, with virtually frame by frame composition of the picture. Soon you come to appreciate the black and white format as an asset used to underline the theme of geometry throughout the picture, with a high quality transfer to DVD.
Kobayashi also directed Harakiri, which I was equally impressed with. Both movies are quintessential Japanese cinema and an excellent investment.
In SAMURAI REBELLION, a young samurai is forced by his daimyo to marry a difficult mistress who had dared to manhandle him. Lady Ichi surprisingly turns out to be a jewel, and Yogoro, her new husband, grows to love her. When the daimyo changes his mind and has her kidnapped after several unsuccessful attempts to bully the family, Yogoro and his father Itaburo (Toshiro Mifune) singlehandedly take on the whole clan.
Before you know it, the blades are out of their sheathes, and bodies are falling all over the place. Particularly spectacular is a duel between Itaburo and his friend Tatewaki (played by the great Tatsuya Nakadai) in a windswept field of grass. Director Masaki Kobayashi (KWAIDAN, HARAKIRI) is at his best here; and numerous scenes are icily controlled and eerily beautiful as he guides his camera, breaking down sequences into abstract geometrical patterns.
I can't help remembering the song in the musical BANDWAGON which summarizes HAMLET as "The king and the prince meet / And everyone ends up mincemeat." As in HARAKIRI, there is a point to the mayhem here: The honor of a single family CAN outweigh the honor of the clan.
However, even though the marriage is arranged, the two soon fall in love. Moreover, the two eventually have a daughter, Tomi. Seeing that his son has found love [something Isaburo has never known with his own wife], Isaburo decides to retire and make his son Yogoro head of the family clan. Meanwhile, Matsudaira's eldest son has died, making Ichi's son the heir. When Matsudaira demands that Lady Ichi return to the castle immediately, Yogoro refuses. The always loyal Isaburo backs his son up on this too. Yet, the lord shows no loyalty as he has Lady Ichi kidnapped. This creates a problem for Matsudaira, as he has wronged Yogoro. Therefore, in the eyes of the Shogunate, Yogoro is right, and Matsudaira is wrong. As a result, Matsudaira tries to save face with a show of force.
What eventually ensues is a showdown between Isaburo and his good friend Tatewaki Asano (Tatsuya Nakadai).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's not Sanjuro or Yojimbo, but it is Tashiro and that's good enough for me. You can tell its not an Akira film but its not a bad story. Good movie with great acting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by The Busey
An excellent DVD of a classic samurai movie starring THE Toshiro Mifune, one of my favourite actors. The b/w movie is in Japanese with excellent clear English subtext. Read morePublished 4 months ago by danny boy
上意討ち 拝領妻始末 (REBELLION / SAMURAI REBELLION). Style Without Substance.
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Rating = ***
Film = three (3) stars;... Read more
YEARS AGO I WACHED ALL OF TOSHIRO MIFUNE'S MOVIES THAT HE MADE WITH AKIRA KURASAWA. WANTED TO HAVE THESE FOR NOSTALGIC REASONS.Published 8 months ago by Eleanor Takahashi iNSKIP
Just long. Maybe too much detail for some. Sad ending in a way.Published 9 months ago by Dougy DeViney
Very sad movie, not your variety cut and slash movie, a well done feature film with well known japanese actor toshiro mifune. Read morePublished 9 months ago by anthony deleveaux
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