In 17th Century feudal Japan, master-less samurai Hanshirō Tsugumo requests to commit harakiri at the manor of Lord Iyi, but he is dissuaded when he is told the story of another soldier who made the same request.
Japanese master Masaki Kobayashi took home the Cannes Special Jury Prize in 1963 for this hard-hitting, subversive samurai film. Acting legend Tatsuya Nakadai (Yojimbo) stars and famed composer Tôru Takemitsu handles the score so unforgettably that even Takashi Miike’s 3D remake pales in comparison.
In technique alone its influence is ubiquitous, transcending the genre it dutifully deconstructs for a profound indictment of institutional hypocrisy and ideological absolutism. Sensitive, elegant, and timeless.
The lighting is masterful, and the suspense just builds and builds. He was more than just an avenging angel. He was a bit like Columbo with those, "And another thing .." And those scenes where he takes the topknot ... Damn!
With its amazing cinematography,crazy plot,tense dialogue,simple soundtrack but it will make you feels more about the situation,and thats the reason why this film is the best,most realistic,and the most amazing jidaigeki film that i've ever seen.
Thumbs up for masaki kobayashi's best work and for tatsuya nakadai's best act.
Really really genuinely one of the best Japanese films I have seen. Of late I have seen many and this is the best out of the 25 odd I have seen in the past few months. It is nearly perfect, a sublime film.
Like Kwaidan my issues with Harakiri rested in its pacing. Kobayashi veers from an excruciatingly slow pace to a really tense and quick one that's too all over the place. Also he veers from being very stagy to intensely cinematic. However, the film still gripped me and it was an engaging ride all the way through. I can safely recommend this to any samurai fan.
It is almost impossible to call it a "Masterpiece" because the term has been used countles times that it does not have the same impact as it used to have. Harakiri deserves somthing much more. An altar maybe? Though I don't have one right now at hand. Well then let me just say that Kobayshi has made a Movie that will always stay with me. I hope thats enough.
WOW, WOW,WOW. Japanese cinema at its finest. Amazing script, great cinematography, and superb acting. This film is one that should be seen and honored for ages. The many layers that the plot carries make this film timeless. I am an instant fan of Kobayashi!