Hikari Mitsushima

Sawako (Hikari Mitsushima) isn’t quite leading the life she always wanted in Tokyo. She’s been there for five years and like clockwork is on both her fifth job and fifth boyfriend… neither of which she’s all that thrilled about. The job sees her walked over by her male bosses and abused by little kids, and her private life finds her playing second fiddle to her boyfriend’s daughter, Kayoko (Kira Aihara). Her co-workers tell her to leave Kenichi (Masashi Endo), but she thinks she doesn’t really deserve any better. “We’re both lower-middles,” she says. How can she possibly hope for more? Clearly, Sayako is no bundle of sunshine. She gets a call from home letting her know that her father is gravely ill and she’s needed to help with the family business, a freshwater clam packing company. Her impulse is to say no as she left home for a reason, but she reluctantly lets Kenichi talk her into returning home with both him and his rude daughter in tow. Once there she goes to work trying to keep the factory afloat in her father’s absence, but it won’t be easy. If her door-mat attitude wasn’t bad enough she’s also forced to confront townspeople she offended, deal with her boyfriend’s wandering eye, and accept the guilt of her last words to her father those many years ago.


Takashi Miike has been accused of many things, but the pervading opinion that his name inspires is that he is one of the most creatively insane directors currently working in any cinematic market, and that “unrestrained” approach to filmmaking usually also means that his films are anything but typical (even in comparison with their fellows). So the opportunity to see another Samurai story, swiftly on the tails of the excellent 13 Assassins, and one remade from an absolute classic in the form of Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 classic was one mixed with excitement and trepidation. The film focuses on the story of Hanshiro (Ebizo Ichikawa), an out of work samurai who visits the House of Ii in order to request to be allowed to commit Seppuku in their courtyard (the higher the prestige of a House, the more honor the shamed warrior can regain). Convinced he is bluffing in order to take advantage of the House’s good will, Kageyu (Lord Ii’s second in command) relates the harrowing story of a fellow shamed Samurai – Motome (Eita) – who had attempted a suicide bluff to gain financially, and who was made to go through with his Seppuku as an example against bluffing. Undeterred, Hanshiro affirms his intention, and requests that the House’s top samurai assist him, though they are coincidentally absent, and it quickly becomes clear that Hanshiro has more of a connection to the young Samurai than he originally confessed… It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine a pre-Kill Bill Tarantino eying […]



Watching a 4-hour long movie may seem daunting, but it’s an incredible reward when the flick involves love, religion, cults, bloodbaths, lesbianism, perversion and, of course, upskirt pictures.

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published: 12.23.2014
published: 12.22.2014
published: 12.19.2014

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