Thursday, 24 February 2011

Twilight Samurai

The Twilight Samurai 

Directed and written by Yoji Yamada, Twilight Samurai is a well-acted, well-directed and well-written cinematic piece of art. Akira Kurosawa’s work has cemented Japanese samurai into world cinema, and Twilight Samurai is a deep and beautiful modern addition to this genre of film. It is set in the mid-19th century in Japan, prior to the Meiji Restoration. The film follows the life of samurai, Seibei Iguchi (played by Hiroyuki Sanada) . He is widowed and left to care for two daughters and his senile mother. His work colleagues have given him the tragic title ‘Tasogare Seibei’ (meaning Twilight Samurai) due to his secluded nature and over-commitment to his family, rather than socialising. However, he finds solace and happiness with the arrival of childhood friend and love interest, Tomoe (played by Rie Miyazawa). But she brings more problems for him to deal with.
The acting is fantastic, with Hiroyuki Sanada’s performance as Seibei and Rie Miyazawa’s as Tomoe, both being gracefully handled. The portrayal of their relationship is full of emotion and beautifully played out. The cinematography is excellent, giving a rich and ‘authentic’ atmosphere to the film. The sheer amount of detail that has been added; from the clothing to the recreated buildings is simple amazing, and really gives an ‘immersive’ quality to the film. Twilight Samurai is a truly magnificent piece of cinema that is engrossing and visually superb. 



  1. It's true. The movie is so well done that while watching it one can actually feel like being in that time. The story and the way its been told makes us aware that there's more to samurais than fights and blood. There's also the human side.
    I remembered about this one after watching Takeshi Kitano's THE BLIND SWORDMAN (2003) and looked for it. Both very good indeed each one in its own way.

    1. Thanks for the comments. I absolutely love this film. There's so much character and charm even with the simplistic nature of the film. Subtle touches and amazingly restrain yet endearing performances. Great film.