In a Nutshell. Mini reviews of movies old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional trout.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Yojimbo (1961)

Toshirô Mifune stars as the titular yojimbo (bodyguard), a masterless samurai feeling the economic pinch of the era in Kurosawa’s much-imitated jidaigeki. He positions himself between two rivals, one at each end of a small town, and outmanoeuvres them both. He knows that being in the middle is a dangerous place to be, but it offers the best possible view of both sides.
One of the film's strengths is its straightforward delivery. For both director and actor, actions are more important than words. The old man that shelters the rōnin provides backstory for the viewer, followed by the yojimbo advancing the plot as and when the story needs it. In contrast to the story, Mifune's role is multifaceted and yet he somehow makes it seem as effortless as his character's manipulation of the idiotic antagonists.

4½ hungry dogs out of 5

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