Masaki Kobayashi’s Samurai cinema is less about sword action and more about humanitarian drama. His unflinching exploration to the disgraceful dark side of Japanese history and traditions in his Samurai epic ‘Hara-kiri’ portrayed grim and depressing picture of 17th century
where thousands of samurais were deprived from means of livelihood and an innocent and devoted samurai was led to commit compulsive hara-kiri by the tyrant rulers of his own clan. Japan
In the same vein, ‘Samurai Rebellion’ explored another dark chapter of 18th century where a devoted family man’s spirit and patience is challenged by cruelty of his own clan’s double faced feudal heads. Inhumanity, rigid conformity of conduct and abuse of power pushed the man to voice his rebel and like the history of rebel it’s once again crumbled by the powerful authorities. Kobayashi’s insistence for structured rectilinear frames is something so unique both in ‘Harakiri’ and this one. Toshiro Mifune as Isaburo represented another of his memorable role moving towards ripe age and he’s finely supported by Tatsuya Nakadai. Though I liked ‘Hara-kiri’ better, this one too is recommended watch for all those who wanted to explore more of Kobayashi or to those who’re simply Mifune fans.