Set in the last days of the Edo period in Kyoto amongst the
Sinsengumi, the guards of the imperial capital, there is one
man who shows outstanding skill as a swordsman. He is Kanchiro
Yoshimura, an economic from the famine in northern Japan.
His one sole preoccupation is self preservation, to allow
him to earn enough money to send home to his starving family.
His fellow samurai scorn him for his dishonest, mercenary
ways. Foremost amongst his antagonists is Saito, one of the
leading figures in the group. As the Kyoto government of the
time disintegrates into civil war the Shinsengumi are called
upon to defend their clan against the superior government
troops and Kanichiro distinguishes himself time and time again
in mortal combat, earning the respect of his fellow samurai
and the friendship of Saito Told in retrospective by the dual
memories of Kanichiro's grandson, form tales told by his father
and those of an elderly, deteriorating Saito...
the Last Sword is Drawn is a stirring, stylish and evocative
look at the last days of a dying breed of men who held honour
above everything else.
again, Tartan has managed to do a good release of, what is
fast becoming, a classic piece of Asian cinema. This film
has been available on import for quite a while (I got one
myself a while ago. If you got the collectors edition, you
also got a letter opener?!?!) and I have to admit, when I
first watched it, I fell in love.
Its a wonderful story of the past, that seems to bring the
era to life so well that it almost seems like reality. This
is definitely a film that would appeal to fans of The Seven
Samurai and other period films.
it does have its low points. Some of the sentiment does seem
a bit forced - as though they want you to feel sad and will
stop at nothing until you are. But other than that slight
complaint, it's all good.
The visuals in this film are stunning to say the least. The
transfer is of very high quality and does this film an incredible
amount of justice. Couple this with a fantastic DTS track
on the DVD and your in business.
watching this film, you do get a sense of sadness from it.
Are the days of honour truly gone? Was this film made as a
powerful piece of cinema to win awards? Or is it an attempt
to make the viewer feel guilty for not making enough sacrifices
within their own lives. Or perhaps they just wanted to make
a damn good film that plucked the heart strings whilst still
having a pleasing body-count. I think all of the above applies.
include, cast and crew interviews, making of featurette and
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