Harakiri ★★★★★

What "The Searchers" accomplished for and revealed to be of value and at the core of the Western, "Hara-Kiri" conveys just as vividly with its subject. Here is a film that embraces the glamour its genre given to the samurai only to reveal the suffocating emptiness underlying all. It is a sad, sad, empty life that society has relegated these men to and what the conclusion of this draining experience of a film reveals to be behind why this is so is something harrowingly honest. In this film, where every scene breathes in and out with a sense of dread, unhappiness, and skillful filmic storytelling rivaled by few, we find a summary of a genre, and, by extension, a complete picture of a way of living, or, specifically, as this film reveals with its many blows to us, a sorrowful painting of a way of living, devoid of the things that make life something we value.

And as the pitch-perfect ending note reveals, it's something we not only allow, but value and perpetuate beyond reconcile.

Alan Jeffrey liked this review