In 1702, set against the backdrop of a long-delayed and insatiable revenge, a reserved samurai, Aoki Sozaemon, leaves his hometown in Matsumoto to come to bustling Edo in search of his father's killer. Unaccomplished as a swordsman, with his funds quickly drying up, Sozaemon must honour his clan's demand to avenge a disgraceful death, however, when he finally finds his target, he will have to make a difficult decision before a crushing dilemma. Is the way of the samurai stronger than the way of the heart?
Turns out one of my favorite directors, Hirokazu Kore-eda (Nobody Knows, Air Doll), has also made a jidaigeki film, full of samurai and plots of revenge. What Kore-eda does though, is removing the action and replacing it with what he does the best, drama with emotional impact. Sozaemon meets a bunch of people who all effects his life in one way or another. Quite a bit of humor also sneaks its way in here, with quirky characters and funny events. Not one of Kore-eda's best films, but it was great to see him do a kind of low-key samurai film.