Hana 2006 ★★★½

An amusing film.

Lovely dialogue, the script written by Koreeda himself has more snappy and humorous lines than any other samurai film I've visited. Quite a few of the background characters are also entertaining. Still this shouldn't be considered as a comedy, it's a black one at best. There are a serious undertone of revenge here, although the protagonist is a naive and clumsy samurai his intentions are very firm - he shall kill the man that caused his father's death.

The film weaves the above nicely together with, at least as a gesture, the story of the 47 ronin. No wait, according to Koreeda it was 46 and the one that got away. ;)

PS The choice of music was unusual. I'm not sure what it was, certainly nothing Japanese, was it an Irish reel?


  • This is the one Koreeda film I have still to watch. Although very different in subject matter how do you feel it compares to his other films?

  • The quote on that poster is pretty accurate, in my experience. I remember reading a lot of lukewarm reviews of this back when it came out, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. It's Koreeda's least substantial movie, but it's entertaining, and reminded me of a light and mildly humorous relative of Humanity and Paper Balloons.

  • There's nothing to be said that Geir didn't.

  • Thanks Geir, I'll make sure to try and track down a copy. I had been a little underwhelmed by Koreeda's last few films so wasn't in a rush to get hold of this one but your comments, and comparison, has made me change my mind.

  • I think Koreeda is extremely hit or miss. He's directed some of my favourite films from the last 15 years or so (After Life, Nobody Knows, Still Walking), but some of his other films leave me completely cold. Like this one and the quirkyness overkill of Air Doll. I'm looking forward to I Wish, and I'm certainly hoping it will fall into the masterpiece camp.

  • I have Kiseki, Nobody Knows and Still Walking lying around here somewhere, just have to liberate myself from this bunch of unseen samurai flicks first.

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