Review of Sukiyaki Western Django

A few centuries before a war named Genpei War had taken place which was due to a feud between two clans who were fighting for a hidden treasure. One of the clan was headed by Yoshitsune (played by Yusuke Iseya) who wore white clothes and were known as the Genjis and on the other hand, the Kiyomori warriors were headed by Kiyomori (played by Koichi Sato) who wore the red clothes. Yoshitsune opposed the Kiyomori warriors for keeping the hidden treasure with them. Then a stranger comes eventually and he offers to join the clan which would provide him with the maximum amount of money. But this stranger has some hidden motifs and wants to take revenge on behalf of an unknown prostitute.

This movie has been inspired by a number of movies. Some may say that this movie pays homage to Sergio Corbucci’s movie Django, some says that this movie is an amalgamation of a number of Japanese samui movies, some say it has been directly copied from the movie named Fistful of Dollars. Eventually, it seems to a movie that has been copied from multiple sources owing to its styling and the cross-cultural combinations shown in the movie. Though it has borrowed so many references from a number of movies, at the end this movie is a singular work of art that celebrates the broken parts of the other movies from which it has been inspired from and combines these parts in such a coherent manner that it appears to be a unique work of art and entertainment. You can rent this movie on Vudu and other streaming movie websites over the internet.

Review

If you have watched the trilogy series named Dollars directed by Kurosawa Yojimbo and Sergio Leone then you would instantly identify the origins of the Sukiyaki’s storyline. The story revolves around a young gunman who arrives at Nevada which has already been divided into two halves by the two clans. He offers his services to the clans who would pay him more. His participation brings a lot of hidden facts on the surface where the audiences learn about a horrible past of betrayal and murder which included the mystery of the hidden treasure which the clans wanted to acquire. Eventually, tensions grow between the clans as on one side Yoshitsune wants the samurai code to be intact of its purity while Kiyomori on the other hand as renamed himself as Henry as he has grown obsessed with Shakespeare. Meanwhile, it has been shown that Ruriko (played by Kaori Momoi) secretly starts her own battle against the clans. This she does to take revenge as her daughter (played by Yoshino Kimura) was reduced to prostitution after she had lost a battle with the clans. She eventually threatens the life of the younger son of Shizuka.

The director Takashi Miike shows his skill by stitching the different materials he adopts from other films and forms a singular entity in the form of this movie. The audience is also left spellbound by the style he used to keep the movie a compact one. The costumes are really very stylish where the characters wear traditional samurai attire with track jackets. He shows a feud between the swords and the shotguns. As the Japanese characters speak both in Japanese and in English it sometimes confuses the audience to grasp the exact situation which has been presented in the Japanese timeline. Though it confuses the audiences sometimes it also celebrates the victory of the war and shows its devastating effect at the same time. As per the news AMC forum, one of the popular channels on Hulu, the movie has been premiered on the Toronto film festival.

Miike has tried to show his directorial skills by mixing a lot of unique elements to form a singular movie like Sukiyaki Western Django. One gets a feeling that this movie is an amalgamation of the director’s eclectic impulses and also a combination of cinematic art. This film is more than just being a tribute to the movies and the texts from which Miike has taken inspiration from. It is, in fact, an embodiment of being a movie that projects to a post-modern work of art through its styling has done and through its transcendent quality. Other movies that are copied or adapted from other movies usually fail to convey their own individuality among the audience. But this movie, though being a copy from multiple numbers of movies and books but it has the ability to generate the powerful emotion that actually comes from the old ideas which have been taken from the old movies. These old ideas have an all new impact upon the audience which makes this movie unique.

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