Samurai Rebellion | Chicago Reader

Samurai Rebellion

Set in 1725, Masaki Kobayashi's elegiac samurai film (1967) is a scathing indictment of Japan's oppressive Tokugawa shogunate era. Toshiro Mifune, in a richly articulated performance, stars as Isaburo, the top swordsman of his clan whose son is ordered to marry his leader's unruly concubine after she's banished from the palace. Isaburo, who is stuck in a loveless marriage, fears a similar fate for his son, but his worries are allayed when the marriage proves successful. He retires and becomes a contented grandfather—until his daughter-in-law is ordered back to the palace. Kobayashi expertly ratchets up the tension until the final act when Isaburo and his son stage a bloody, futile rebellion. Tatsuya Nakadai costars as Mifune's conflicted ally. In Japanese with subtitles. 121 min.


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