As I went to watch this, I was not worried for a category 1 cyclone Dylan coming to the shore about two weeks ago. I and my mum usually go to the pictures to watch movies and so here we were going out to the theater for 47 Ronin. Little did I know, during that night the cyclone moved slightly and increased to 2 as I slept peacefully. Lucky no bad problems to the south from cyclone Dylan. Another cyclone was called Edna came and then went to a rain depression. Last weekend there were minor flooding that cuts some places for a day or two and then back to normal. Now that the rivers are almost full with water, I am prepared for a flood.
Before I start to explain the review of 47 Ronin, I wanted to explain the word ronin but some of you might know the meaning. But my mum who ask me and I said tell you later, which I did. Ronin is a samurai with no lord/leader or a lordless warrior. The true story behind this movie is a national legend in Japan.
H2F Entertainment, Mid Atlantic Films, Moving Picture Company, Origo Film Group and Stuber Productions
Director :- Carl Rinsch
Writers/screenplay:- Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini and Walter Hamada
Feature Length:- 118 Minutes
Stars/cast:- Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanubo Asano, Min Tanaka, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and more
Age Restrictions:- PG 13
In feudal Japan, the Shogun rules his lands under provinces which are ruled by Lords. Lord Asano finds a young half breed boy which Asano’s pride for the boys stamina for survival. Several years later, Lord Asano prepare a tournament for his Shogun and Lords which Asano and Kira are two warring lords. Kai the half breed has been a tool of ridicule to others in the Asano household. However Asano’s daughter Mika has fallen for Kai and Oishi respects Kai. Lord Kira plans to over through Asano with some trickery and succeeds. After Asano does seppuku – killing himself by order of the Shogun – the samurai under Asano were leaderless and therefore after a year these ronin went to avenge and retain the honor of their Lord.
As I stated in the above, second paragraph of this post, is based on a true event which some at Wikipedia say there was more than 47 ronins. Of course over every history, the story can be embellished that become fantastical to even to believe. However, this movie did play on the fantasy side of the true story by using magical realism to make it entertaining (for me to watch it). I love the Japanese culture and this showed the sensual and the sensational side of feudal Japan. Like all legends told; there is magic involve or embellishments by different voices. If you take out the magic parts of this movie and changed it into a true story based on real facts, it would be a slow and boring watch except for the fighting scenes. Seriously though, I really enjoyed this movie. Fast paced with unusual monsters and a shape-changing witch made a movie more watchable than a true story would. I hate watching true story type movies because even though you know the outcome I get that heart wrenching feeling to cry. I refuse to watch such movies but there are a few that peaks my interest and 47 Ronin is one such movie.
Okay there is a few actors I know on this movie and one in particular I haven’t seen for a while, Carl-Hiroyuki Tagawa who played the Shogun played a well round character. Helix actor Hiroyuki Sanada as Oishi who commands the Samurai under Lord Asano, gave the movie a sense of depth but even though Kai played by Keanu Reeves is the main character it flowed well. What do I mean? Well its portrayal of Japan in feudal life was a strict and honorable way, which today we think it is awful. Looking to similarities to the modern world and I can think of the second world war where the Japanese pilots knew that to die with honor was their only way than dying in shame. 47 Ronin also show that killing someone was an dishonorable thing to do but to save their honor by killing one self is honor at a high level. If they were killed by the executioner of the Shogun, then they would have brought shame on their families. Kai was a nobody, an half breed who then became a samurai and had honor restored.
Please note this movie I watch held a personal message for me which I value most in life – Understanding, Honor and Loyalty. Even though the cast were mostly of Japanese actors, I also expected to have the Japanese language spoken with English sub-titles but I might have to wait for the DVD to watch it. I love the pitch sounds of the syllables of Japanese language which for me is almost musical and the emotions of the language is toned to match the emotion of being angry and such, even though; I don’t understand it.
Overall 47 Ronin is an action and an adventurous rollick through feudal Japan loosely based on an event which to this day plays a pivotal role of honor in Japan. The fantasy side made it watchable without ever feeling that it was based on fact.
♥♥♥ I usually give a heart but this movie needed more than one heart because the words I want to say doesn’t exist.