lunes, 13 de julio de 2009

Gate Of Hell

When big, bad samurai Moritoh (Kazuo Hasegawa) helps a young woman pass herself off as a princess during a revolt, he falls head-over-heels in love with her from first sight, And who could blame him, being the ridiculously beautiful Machiko Kyo, who was also in Ugetsu Monogatare and Rashomon. It’s too bad for him that this particular woman is Lady Kesa, who just so happens to be married to another badass samurai Wataru (Isao Yamagata). Jealous and full of rage, Moritoh goes on a rampage, going insane and willing to do anything to get the love of Lady Kesa. I don’t want to give to much away, but this is one of the classics of the Japanese film, and with good reason. It’s most famous for being the first big film to be exported and filmed in color, with the beautiful Eastmancolor techniques famous in the films of Michael Powell. Kazuo Hasegawa gives an intense performance, making you believe he really is insane, while Machiko Kyo plays the delicate flower in a role that I had never seen her do. It’s shocking too, since both men in her life aren’t exactly attractive. It’s like a sitcom where the ugliest luckiest dude gets the hot girl. I wasn’t very happy with Isao Yamagata either, he doesn’t seem to emote at all, considering all the stuff that’s going around him. The ending is unconventional and unrealistic, but surprisingly appropriate. Very recommended.

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