[Movie] 47 Ronin
Then, the Hollywood got their hand on this one. First of all, Japanese do loves fictionalizing their historical or mystical tales. They have tales rewritten in a steampunk world, magical planets that resemble Earth, and even a complete alternate reality full of 'what if', like the Space Battleship Yamato animation (the battleship Yamato is a real life battleship, except in the cartoon it goes to space fighting aliens).
So yeah, reboot rewritten stories in Japan is quite common. So common its quite mind-boggling, really, that this movie didn't perform as good as I thought it would be. It was dull, almost lack of any emotions. There are loves story included in this movie, and some variations from the original tale. Namely the witches, demons, slave-trafficking pirates, and a weird looking dragon. But hey, its a fantasy action movie, so why the hell not? But does the variations from the original plot makes its a better tale? Click read more to know more, 'cause its about to get personal.
Well, due to the urmm.. expanding Imperial bloodline, it is not uncommon for some the Imperial offspring (born from the Imperial household) to bears the title of the Shogun (Shogun is a military commander, regent of the Emperor). Why I'm explaining this? Because in this movie, the story tells that Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayashi visited the land of Ako, which is different from the original tale of the forty-seven ronins.
|"I don't know what that is, but I'll slept better with it dead"|
But Lord Asano liked him, his own daughter liked him even more. Although Lord Asano never explicitly forbid his daughter from loving Kai, he did tried to remind his daughter of her place. Childhood friend, no more than that, my daughter. Signals from Lord Asano.
The story then takes a twist, where the Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) is coming over for a fighting tournament hosted by the Asano household.Why did I said its a twist? You see, in the original tale, it wasn't the Shogun that came by to the Ako domain. Instead, its the Asano's household that came by to Edo's castle (there is suppose to be another feudal lord named Lord Kamei from Tsuwano Domain) to arrange a fitting reception for the Emperor's envoy. And Lord Kira (Tananobu Asano) was a high-ranking Edo's official that suppose to give instructions in the proper etiquette for the whole event.
But, let get back to the movie. One thing lead to another, Lord Asano strikes Lord Kira. Striking a Shogunate official is one thing, but unsheathing a weapon in the Castle of Edo, the residence of the Emperor and the Shogunate? That is pretty much death sentence, you can't escape from that. So yes, Lord Asano have been ordered to commit 'seppuku' and all of his domain is seized by the Lord Kira. It wasn't his fault though, a witch have tricked him.
But as a feudal lord, Lord Asano household is quite a size. He have samurai retainers in his service, and with him being dead and all, what would happened to the Asano's household? Not to mention he still have a daughter, Mika (Kou Shibasaki). Who would take care of her from being seduced by Keanu Reeves? Don't worry, Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), Lord Asano's principal counselor and also second in command for Lord Asano's band of samurais, is still there. He can take care of everything. He will not let his master to die in vain, vengeance will be swift.
Wait no, turns out the Shogun did not just command Lord Asano to commit seppuku, but also commanded Mika to be married with Lord Kira, so that the 2 family will be joined to be one. Also, Asano's retainers will be stripped of their status as samurai and branded as ronin, a master-less samurai. Is that all? Well, of course not. Just to be in the safe side, the Shogun also forbid Oishi and his men, from seeking vengeance for their master's death. So, that pretty much puts the nail to the coffin.
|Cause the Shogun said so.|
|But this guy won't let him|
Kai suggest that they go and get some from the Tengu, mythical creatures from the Sea of Trees. Oishi at first hesitate because first, its called mythical creature for a reason. And second, he is not sure whether asking help from the Tengu, if they ever existed, is conducive to their health being. But Kai convinces him, its all right. He know how to deal with them. Says the guy who ran away from the Tengu in the first place..
|Why u no listen to me?|
Barely escaped from that terrible, terrible planning, the ronin's Avenger team have reduced number of 47 men. Not giving up, oh hell no, after what they have gone through just to shiv Lord Kira, no way they are backing out right now. Not to mentioned they got the sword from the Tengu, those things ain't cheap. So they regroup, and this time they will ambush Lord Kira nice and proper. They disguised themselves as entertainers and join the troupe that suppose to perform during Lord Kira and Mika's wedding reception.
They almost succeeded, but one of the guard managed to shoot an arrow that almost become a game changer. The whole castle was alerted to their presence, but at that time most of the watchmen have been successfully dispatched, except for that one arrow shooting guard, so chaos and confusion ensues. Lord Kira ran away with Mika, chased by both Oishi and Kai. Mika retaliate against Lord Kira, and successfully go to Kai's side, while Lord Kira continue to run away because Oishi is hell-bent on cutting of his head. The witch attacked Kai and Mika, but got killed because she got stabbed in the head after turning into a dragon. Which is ironic because becoming a dragon is what make her head bigger and easier target.
|Stabbed in the head!!|
The Shogun was furious because the ronin didn't obey his command, killed a feudal lord, and cause quite a stir in the affected domains. But the ronin have followed thoroughly of their Bushido code. The Shogun allows them to commit seppuku, so that they may die a samurai's death. Better than being beheaded like a common criminal. So they say. Oh yeah, Kai got punished along with the other samurai too, he was recognized as a Bushido, hence shall commit seppuku. Probably the happiest guy during the whole seppuku event. Because the night before, he and Mika totally shag with each other.
|"I love you guys 'cause you guys are so samurai in so many awesome ways..|
But no. The punishment is still death. At least seppuku is the samurai way, yes?"
The movie is so dull I might have exaggerate the scenes a lil'bit