I am on a movie watching spree these days….though not an intense spree. This time it is a Akiro Kurosawa‘s 1962 Japanese movie, Sanjuro. I think is my 3 and halfth Kurosawan movie after Rashomon(1950), Ran(1985) and half of Madadayo(1993). I liked Rashomon a lot, and still like it. Even Ran was gripping enough. Madadayo was a different kind of movie. Interesting nevertheless. So, after all this history, the sight of Sanjuro naturally interested me. This is a gripping movie, with loads of fun coming together in the package. Its only around 1.5 hour long, which is one of the several best things about it. It is the movie adaptation of the novel – Peaceful days by Shuguro Yamamoto.
Coming to the story, since the wiki entry for this movie does not provide much information, atleast at the moment I write this post, it is my turn to write about the story. There are a group of 9 young Samurai, a Chamberlain who is held captive by Kukui, the villian of this story. There is Sanjuro, a reckless and slightly eccentric looking samurai, who is willing to help the nine-young-samurai to release the chamberlain from the clutches of Kukui. The story proceeds with Sanjuro planning the ways to achieve their goal, which sometimes flop because of the 9 samurai. However, with his strategic plans and his valor, the ten men overcome all the hurdles and the story is a happy ending. However, Sanjuro dissappears in the end when the Chamberlain family wants to thank him. I am not quite sure if the movie ended here, or there is something more … as the video got spoilt in the last few minutes of the film :( some one, who saw the film, please drop a comment here.
Toshiro Mifune as Sanjuro was just brilliant. The careless manner, the dishevelled appearance, the “i dont care who you are” kind of attitude – everything was perfect. There was a considerable deal of comedy in the movie, despite it being a relatively serious kind of movie. The dialogues related to Sanjuro’s satires and his belittlement of the nine samurai are all worth watching. I say watching because, me being “Japanese ignorant”, I only saw subtitles and understood the movie ;) The two ladies in the movie also played their role in making the movie enjoyable. Infact, the mannerisms and even the features and apparel of Japanese were a bit alien to me. So, some of the scenes amused me for that reason also. Dialogues and their delivery by Sanjuro were just brilliant, can’t resist saying this once more!
Yeah, it is fun to watch. Interesting movie. Keeps you glued till the end. It being a small movie is a plus point :) One online source on sanjuro is here.