Zatoichi

  • 18
  • Takeshi Kitano (2003)
  • Jpn (SUB)
  • 110 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Shintaro Katsu may have starred as Zatoichi the blind swordsman in 26 B-movie adventures during the 1960s and 70s, but none of those can match the cinematic panache of this thrilling variation on the traditional themes of duty, honour and championing the cause of the oppressed. Director Takeshi Kitano also takes on the iconic role of the itinerant masseur/swordsman, but his inevitable showdown with the warring clans terrorising the residents of a small town in 19th-century Japan isn't simply a homage to a cult hero. It's a glorious visual scrapbook referencing the greats of Japanese film-making who have influenced Kitano's unique blend of pitiless violence, slapstick comedy and sensitive social detail. Superbly shot and scored, this is both riotous entertainment - witness the tapdancing finale - and exquisite art.

Plot Summary

Period action adventure written, directed by and starring Takeshi Kitano. As the result of an act of kindness, a blind itinerant masseur and master swordsman wanders unavoidably into a clan war that threatens the future of a feudal Japanese community.

Cast and crew

Cast

Zatoichi
Takeshi Kitano
Hattori, the bodyguard
Tadanobu Asano
Aunt O-Ume
Michiyo Ogusu
Hattori's wife
Yui Natsukawa
Shinkichi
Guadalcanal Taka
O-Sei, the geisha
Daigoro Tachibana
O-Kinu, the geisha
Yuko Daike
Ginzo
Ittoku Kishibe

Crew

Director
Takeshi Kitano

Other Information

Language: 
Japanese +subtitles
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Artificial Eye
Guidance: 
Violence.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 19 Mar 2004
Certificate 18
Categories
Drama

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