|photo borrowed from www.mrkaufman.info|
I believe that many great stories come from good legends. The tale of the 47 Ronin is one of those. I am glad to have been able to watch the film during the press preview in SM Megamall and learn new stuff about the ways of the Samurai. It has led me to research more about the story after watching it on the big screen.
What I discovered from various websites though is quite different from what I saw in the movie. Perhaps, creative license has led the filmmakers to include Keanu Reeves' character, Kai, the half-breed, that of Princess Miko (Ko Shibasaki), the shape-shifting witch (Rinko Kikuchi), and the ghostly creatures of the forest, to make the story more interesting by including mystical touches and a love story to it.
Still, the essences of loyalty and honor remain the central theme of 47 Ronin and its actors have portrayed them very well. Kudos to director Carl Erik Rinsch who was able to bring to life the stunning landscapes and enormous battles that displayed the timeless Ronin story to worldwide audiences in a never-before seen way.
47 Ronin is based on one of ancient Japan’s enduring tales. Ronin is the term used for Samurai warriors who have lost their master. In the story, the outcast Kai joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), leader of the Ronin, to seek vengeance upon treacherous overlord Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano) who orchestrated the death of their master, Lord Asano (Min Tanaka), and banished the group of warriors. The 47 then embarks on a quest to restore honor to their homeland while being challenged with trials that would have destroyed ordinary warriors.
Having watched the movie in 3D was a treat because the scenes were made more spectacular. But if you’ll ask me what my favorite scene is, it would have to be the significant part when all 47 Ronin signed their named and affixed their thumb marks using their own blood before they headed off to battle.
When it comes to principles, however, I found it hard to accept the ancient rule on killing oneself to preserve honor especially when it is questionable whether a act is indeed right or wrong. Still, I respect whatever other cultures’ belief systems are. I am just glad that they don’t apply anymore in these modern times.
So, is it worth it to watch this movie? I’d say yes because it provides a peek, as well as lessons, on culture and history as well as positive values. Given a chance, if I get to visit Japan someday, I’d most likely schedule a visit to the mass grave of the 47 Ronin myself. Oh, but if you want to go there sooner, join SM Cinema's promo to get a chance to win a trip for two to Tokyo, Japan!
47 Ronin is released and distributed by United International Pictures through Solar Entertainment Corporation. Catch it in Philippine theaters starting January 8, 2014.