lunes, 27 de julio de 2009

Sukiyaki Western Django

I’m a big fan of Takashi Miike, and this is one of his most entertaining films, for sure. While I was expecting a full-blown remake of the classic Italian western film, I was surprised to actually get a rather original remake of A Fistful Of Dollars, or if you’re a purist out there, Yojimbo. Still, the influence is mostly that of the spaguetti western.

Our hero is the typical ‘man with no name” that you see in those kinds of films, and the gunplay is fast and energetic, the hero being a great shot. The similarities with Fistful Of Dollars also come up with the bloodying up of our hero, who is taken care of in a cementery later on. Also involved are the two clans fighting in the same town, but unlike the ones in Fistful and Yojimbo, one good one bad, both are made up of evil, sadistic bastards. Our hero (played by Hideaki Ito) sides with a prostitute, a single mother who wants vengeance for the death of her husband. Allusions to Japanese history are placed in the two clans, the Genji and Heike, and their leaders are based and named on their real generals. There are other allusions to classic spaguetti westerns. The mud-filled areas remind one of the original Django, while the end, in it’s wide spaces of snow, will remind one of The Great Silence. My personal favorite part of the story, however, deals with the character of Ruriko, played by Kaori Momoi, who is something of a sword-play superhero. I’d love to see a prequel with her character. The cinematography is very beautiful as well. Miike has come a long way since Fudoh.

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