Wednesday, October 12, 2011
True Samurai Spirit
The film Seven Samurai opens with a village. The farmers are plagued by bandits and do not want them to come again. So they decide to go into the towns and hire samurai to defend them. The villagers have nothing to offer except three meals a day. Thru their search they encounter a samurai who saves a boy and kills a bandit hidden in a barn. The villagers follow him, but the samurai is also followed by two other samurai. A seasoned samurai examines the older one when a young samurai maybe eighteen years old begs the older man to take him as a disciple. The older samurai is a ronin (masterless samurai) and accepts the boy as a student. As the two samurai walk into town the villagers beg their aid. They accept the terms of aid and search for five more samurai. They find three skilled men and an old friend of the ronin. The ronin and his disciple are out searching and find a master swordsman and watch a duel which he wins. The swordsman later joins the group along with a drunkard who is the seasoned/middleage samurai. After a little game with him while he's drunk they accept him but test him as they walk to the village. When they arrive the samurai begin to make preparations to defend the village. Time passes and the samurai and villagers become comfortable with each other and the samurai teach the villagers to weild spears to aid in the defence. Bandit scouts are spotted and Kikuchiyo (drunk samurai) and the master swordsman dispatch them and the people prepare for war. The battle takes place over four days each day bandits and villagers are lost. Through all the battles and losses the farmers are victorious and the bandits all dead. The samurai are now three and defeated. For victory was not theirs but the farmers.
The film was a masterful showing of the samurai and the way their spirits soar. The film is very well shot directed and acted. As long as the film is that passage of time is much needed to show the characters grow as individuals and as a team of warriors. My favorite parts were of course the fight scenes but the greatest was the scene of the duel. The master swordsman showed true Bushido. Seen by those who study and practice it, others would call it fighting prowess. when in truth it is so much more. I believe the films length is needed as stated in the article by Kenneth Turban. For true samurai fans and samurai themselves this film is a must see.