When someone comes to your house and seeks a place to commit suicide, what would you do?
Harakiri (or Seppuku) is a movie about a ragged clothed samurai seeking an honourable suicide and asking to leave him using a well-known clan’s grounds for it. The lord of the house shared with that person the story of another samurai who as him had requested the same favor and thus started the story of revelations and irrelevant secrets. Following the memories of the lord, we are thrown back to the subsequent turns of events.
As with good mysteries, the movie has an intriguing storytelling flow that keeps us glued to our seats. Here are seven more ways to enjoy Harakiri and to boost your appreciation for this critically acclaimed film.
Harakiri has a wonderful focus on the characters and dialogues, which give a strong overview of the psychology of the characters and let us make an identification through them. Likely, when the movie starts revealing the key of the story plots, we feel the intensification of the tense situations that are preparing for the climax.
The movie puts us in a position from where we can understand the perspective of the hero, then in another hand, as the story progresses, the perspective of the villain. This is an important plot mechanic same as the dialogues, the differents points of views, the shots, the angles etc. Such technics would push us to consider these two perspectives thoughtfully, and to come up with your own “fair” conclusion.
The contents can be seen as challenging questions for Japan’s past with its unjust system and its definition of honour. By this contents, the movie adds another layer of interest for history’s enthusiasts and people interested by the topic of the samurais or by “Jidaigeki”.
Samurai were warriors once having the highest rank in the caste system, but the demand for their skills of warring waned severely in times of peace. That time lets most of the samurais into the dire poverty, most of them without subsistence. The film gives us a look into some of those samurais who were struggling to survive in the new harsh world, as the notions of honour and humanity begun to pluck at their souls.
Yes, there is.
It didn’t really work, but that’s not the point here.
Wax on, wax off, people.
Most samurai movie will triumph with showing skills of the sword as an important element, but Harakiri boasts a smart power plays between samurais other than the use of physical force. The use of music, or more arguably the use of silence, leads us in the back and forths of controlling the situation? We are often concerned about the lone samurai’s position, wondering how he is going to control the situation, and only allowing us to breath with some signs of temporary relieve from time to times. Don’t worry! the movie still has a fight to satisfy us and complete a what we used to call a jidaigeki “samurai movie”.
At the end of the tale, everything goes back to normal. Yet we wonder who is the true winner. Without spoiling the ending, you are left to consider the impact if any when the situation ends with profundity.