Saturday, April 01, 2006

Not a fighting film

The Twilight Samurai was not a fighting film. But it was a martial arts film, and an excellent film.

There were just two sword-fighting scenes, which were good, but certainly not fancy. They seemed very realistic somehow, without any fancy moves; just two people trying to stay alive.

Most of the movie, though, was about other aspects of martial arts, like respect, humility, loyalty. The main character was a "petty Samurai," or a Samurai who had a low-level job for his lord. On his small salary, he supported two young daughters and his ailing mother--difficult, especially since the death of his wife. He had no desire for advancement--his joy was in watching his daughters grow up. But circumstances made him fight, so he did, and it turns out he was an expert in the "short sword."

There was also a beautiful love story between him and a childhood friend. It had a good ending, too.

I liked how the movie showed, in beautful detail, the everyday life of a petty Samurai's family in 19th c. Japan--what they ate, what their house was like, how the children acted, etc. Plus, it was not dubbed. I like that--I enjoy hearing the foreign language even if I don't understand it. Subtitles don't bother me.

If that's the sort of movie you like, I'd recommend it!

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