Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hidden Blade (2004)

Hidden BladeI thought that director Yôji Yamada could not possibly top Twilight Samurai, but I was wrong. This is a great film for even those that are not martial arts fans. The acting is great, the screenplay is excellent and believable. Director Yamada also had great cinematographers and music.

Since the story for both Twilight Samurai and Hidden Blade were written by the same author and took place in the same part of Japan, one reviewer unfairly indicated the story was a rehash of the first. Definitely, I disagree with this assessment.

I don't want to give anything away. For those that are like me, be sure to have a box of tissues handy when you see this memorable film. I rented it and was so taken by the film (even watching it twice during the same weekend), that I purchased the DVD immediately from Amazon.

Yoji Yamada's "Twilight Samurai" was an extraordinary treat. Following in similar footsteps, "The Hidden Blade" is again a samurai tale where a lower samurai must weigh matters of principle against what is politically and financially advantageous. Shown at film festivals in Berlin & Newport Beach, the main character is Munezo Katagiri whose sister marries out of the household. Masatoshi Magase who played so romantically as the second love interest in "The Sea Is Watching" does the title role. He's very sensitive and honest, but a bit out of touch with his own emotional needs. Takako Matsu who has only made 3 films including 2006's "Suite Dreams" plays the housekeeper Kie. She works hard and lovingly takes care of Katagiri's house. Matsu's beautiful good looks and expressive face make her a charmer. Caste issues divide her from the samurai. When Kie marries, her new family abuses and fails to appreciate her. This results in her illness and rescue by Katagiri who barges into the household and rescues Kie from her own husband! Kie is nursed back to health. Meanwhile Yaichiro Hazama is from the same samurai clan and has gone to the big city of Edo where he gets caught in a plot to overthrow the Emperor. He's brought back home in a basket and imprisoned, rather than being given the dignity of hari kiri. The authorities come to Katagiri and give him the charge of dueling with Hazama, who breaks out of prison and holes up in a rural hut. The lovely Reiko Takashima plays Hazama's wife and comes to barter with the only commodity she has, her body, to try and save her husband's life. She goes to the Chief in charge (forgot his title) and makes a similar deal when Katagiri refuses her. Unfortunately, the unscrupulous Chief has no intention of freeing Hazama and fails to inform Katagiri as he has promised Mrs. Hazama he would do. Min Tanaka who played in "Twilight Samurai" is the retired martial arts instructor Toda who gave Katagiri knowledge of a special move called the Devil's Claw. Now living in a pastoral setting, he gives Katagiri a few last tips. The duel takes place with Katagiri surviving. The Chief suffers justice at Katagiri's hands with the lightning fast Devil's Claw dispatching him to the next world. Deciding to follow Toda's example, Katagiri renounces his pledge as samurai and sweetly approaches Kie who has not remarried and no longer has a caste restriction separating her from the man she obviously loves. There is a real sweetness and innocence in the story of "Hidden Blade" that shows a moral compass. The performances, direction and cinematography are first-rate. Bravo!

Buy Hidden Blade (2004) Now

Wow! What a delight. I picked "Hidden Blade"up from the local video store on the way home from work. It was just on a whim, based mainly upon superficialities (the cover art, the interesting title, the intriguing plot summary on the back), but am I ever glad I did.

This movie is an absolute gem, packed with engaging storylines and intricate character development. There isn't a tremendous amount of action, per se, but the few scenes demonstrate excellent technique. I was glued to the set the entire movie and was saddened when the movie came to a close at the end.

Pick this up for a wonderful human story satisfy your nostalgic longing for days of love and honor.

Read Best Reviews of Hidden Blade (2004) Here

Having been thrilled by the director's movie "Twilight Samurai",

I ordered this film. By itself, it is good period drama of the

19th century Samurai period...basically the story of an honorable samurai in a dishonorable world. However, I felt that

the plot and motifs were quite similar to Twilight Samurai. Given the choice of the two films, I would recommend Twilight over this one. I didn't quite get the point of seeing two

very similar movies.

Want Hidden Blade (2004) Discount?

this is a very good movie, quite different from the other samurai movies. it's quite romantic too. a real gem. a samurai with conscience and principles, a country girl with pure heart, loyalty and love. grab this one and enjoy.

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