My hubby described this movie as Shogun meets Matrix. Of course, as usual we enjoyed the movie very much, our baby boy came along and all three of us had Arby’s for lunch before the movie. The movie is based upon a true story which took place back in time when Shoguns ruled Japan, province by province and the samurai were the law keepers. A ronin was a leaderless samurai, not a secure position to hold. The concepts of loyalty, honor, the distinction of knowing one’s place and accepting it, hierarchical society and treachery and dying with honor or as a common criminal were a constant throughout the movie.
The scenery was magnificent; the mountains in the distance, the forests in the mist, the verdant meadows and the healthy fields gave Japan a majesty and a character portrait within the movie. The gorgeous Japanese architecture and the stark contrast between the warm beauty of the generous and honorable Lord samurai’s estate and the dark, sinister holdings of the antagonistic, greedy and cold rival Lord samurai made for a distinct good versus evil feel to the landscape.
The kimonos worn by the honorable samurai’s daughter were absolutely exquisite, the delicate fabrics and the architectural stylings of each layer over another was sheer perfection to look at and admire. And her hair; with the jeweled accessory pieces interwoven amidst the complicated braids and buns, exquisiteness in its very definition of the word.
I remember seeing Shogun for the first time all those years ago. I watched it for primarily Richard Chamberlain, that was either before or after The Thornbirds, and I think that every teenage girl was in love with him. Aside from the Richard Chamberlain factor, Shogun gave me a glimpse into the intricacies of Japanese society that I later explored further in political science, fascinating stuff Japanese culture and history I assure you. If you enjoyed Shogun then I am fairly sure that you would enjoy 47 Ronin.