In a Nutshell. Mini reviews of movies old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. And often no sleep.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Zatoichi the Blind Swordsman (1989)

Shintarô starred, directed and co-wrote a welcome second sayonara for his most famous character. Among other things, it’s centred around the passing of time. The first half is for people who took the full journey, all twenty-five previous films, showing how the swordsman’s life is when aged: he’s greying but still wandering. It also acknowledges the era in which it was released, being more violent than ever to please a new generation of viewers.
Some of what it attempted emotionally had been done better previously. Conversely, exploring the feelings that a son holds for a mother, opening a window into Zatoichi’s past, was handled beautifully.
Even though the extra running time allows for the character to be re-established, I don’t think it’ll have the desired effect on people who aren't long-time fans. A full appreciation requires knowledge of what came before.

3½ colourful lives out of 5

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