Kudo’s use of long hand-held camera sequences in the battle scenes revolutionized the way samurai films were made. It’s close up and personal amidst flashing blades, clawing hands and fists, writhing bodies. But even more shocking the realistic portrayal of ordinary men trying to alter the course of history. In a word they were almost all scared crapless.
There’s a scene in this film that not even Tarantino would try. The night before a band of revolutionaries will attempt an assassination of a man being groomed to take over when the Shogun dies, one of the assassins goes home to his wife and children. He watches them sadly as the wife feeds the children,and the little ones laugh and play. He knows he will never see them again. That is nothing surprising– a pretty standard scene. But he also knows that when it is over the family will have no one to provide for them, and in all likelihood his enemies will kill them for revenge. Kudo cuts quickly to later that night. The man is leaving his darkened house and looks down at the floor, and we see the still, wrapped bodies of his wife and children lying there. He takes one last look and walks out into the night. It’s a memorable scene in a memorable film.
Based on historical fact. Worth seeing if your a fan of Chambara.