Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tsubaki Sanjuro

1962 by Akiro Kurosawa

Samurai movies are always nice to watch and when it is from the eternal maestro, then it is a real treat. This was my second watch of Sanjuro, but it is still fresh and great.

Nine young samurais want to act against corruption in their clan. Walks in a wandering Ronin, who over heard them, and puts some sense into their thoughts and leads them in the right path, helping them to save their Chamberlain. 

This could be one of the most light hearted movie from the maestro. There are lots of light fun spread across the movie through the inexperienced samurais, the wife and daughter of the Chamberlian and of course through the strange and ill behaved Ronin, ie Sanjuro. For many young samurai's Sanjuro is ill behaved and behaves very unlikely for an aged Samurai. And the moments between these Samurais offer quite a good time for the viewer, simple but nice. Enters the two woman and the fun takes a very different and delicate turn, quite feminine. A very nice contrast in fact, during the whole operation to rescue the Chamberlain, from the male and female view points, offers not just fun but some delightful insights too.

It is the character of the Ronin, wonderfully played by Mifune, a favourite of Kurosawa, who form the back bone and leads the movie to its brilliant climax. Sanjuro and Hanbei, his real opponent, meets in the beginning, but their duel doesnt happen until the end of the movie, and what a brilliant scene it is. They both had respects to each other and Sanjuro really wanted to avoid this fight, as he considered both of them like 'good swords which should remain in their sheaths' (one of the insightful comment from the ladies), but Hanbei insists and this fight, which is over in a second, is really brilliant. It could even be seen as the highlight of this movie.

Toshiro Mifune steals the show among the actors. Wonderful cinematography too.

May be the best entertainer from the Maestro. 


  1. Any mention of Akiro Kurosawa takes me to "Dreams" (1990) which I love so much.

  2. I have been looking for a good file of Dreams, with proper subtitles. The ones I got werent working on the dvd player. I hate watching movies in lap top. So. still checking.