You gotta go see: The Twilight Samurai (2002)
You've just gotta go see this...
A film with 'samurai' in the title screams high-intensity action and highly skilful warriors in combat, which the Twilight Samurai does have at times, but rather than being an action flick, it's an insight into the final days of the rule of the samurai of Japan, as western civilisation began to impact upon their lives.
The story follows a widower samurai, committed to his two daughters and ill mother, and working in administration after incurring a large amount of debt due to his wife's funeral. His life is far from action-packed, and far from any aristocratic benefits befalling many of his comrades.
As the samurai order to which he belongs begins to unravel, events begin to test his duty to his superiors.
His devotion to his family and his duty as a samurai are at odds, and as he struggles with financial burden and the restrictions that are placed on him in Japanese society, he is faced with the reality of honouring only one of his commitments.
Set amidst a culture on the edge of extinction due to modern warfare and industrialisation, there really are few films with the heart to match this.
The story and acting are fantastic, which makes the Twilight Samurai one of my favourite films. Highly recommended!
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