Tuesday, September 04, 2007

One of the things that are part of my plans for preparing for the JLPT test is to watch japanese movies. Last week, I brought home the movie "The hidden fortress" directed by Akiro kurosawa. I was hoping to be able to follow the japanese in the movie but after a few minutes it became clear that was not going to be possible. The movie was made in 1958 and following present day japanese is hard enough.
The movie itself was quite interesting and had me tied to the TV set for the entire duration of the movie. The plot is very simple one, that of taking a displaced princess to safety across enemy territory. The person given this responsibility is the commander who does a brilliant job of it. In this he is aided by 2 peasants and another girl they see on the way. Finally when they are caught and to be executed, they are saved by another samurai whose life the commander spared earlier. The first half is full of suspense and the latter half has a bit of action as the commander takes on the enemy. The peasants serve as the comic relief. Quiet a well-made movie. Not much grandeur even though a princess is involved. The hidden fortress is a secluded fortress in a valley and hidden from view where the princess stays temporarily till she leaves for safer territory. When they are caught and about to be executed, the princess says that she's ready to die since she's seen the world now and talks about the folk song she heard enroute. She then launches into a rendering of the song herself. A nice poignant touch from the director.

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