Harakiri

Harakiri

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I don't think it's possible to praise this film enough. It is just such an absolute masterpiece. At every moment the film keeps you engaged because you think Tsugumo is going to commit harakiri and the film is going to be over but then there's also another thing to add to what's going on. The use of deep focus in this film especially as Tsugumo and Saito converse as it switches between showing Tsugumo sitting, in position to commit harakiri while Saito sits on the stage with Tsugumo closer to the camera to show the opposite view where Saito is closer to the camera as we see Tsugumo weaving his tale from the middle of the courtyard is masterful. It might be a samurai film but it proves that it is much more than just that as Kobayashi delves into the turmoil faced by the samurai who were displaced by the shogunate during the Edo period just like Tsugumo and Motome were. The film is so grueling as you watch Miho and Kingo slowly dying right in front of the eyes of their loved ones. As the viewer, you desperately want to see them survive but knowing that Tsugumo is currently at the Iyi clan's estate about to commit harakiri means you already know of their fate and the fate of Motome who was supposed to be their savior. The fact that Tsugumo eventually even denounces bushido because of the way that it fails shows that it is hard for people to stick to any belief once their way of life has been shattered as they have nothing to live for or believe in anymore. This truly is such an amazing film and I can't wait to eventually watch The Human Condition films as well as others of Kobayashi's work because his level of filmmaking in this film alone shows he is one of the greatest