In 1800’s, Hanji walks into a deserted village, hungry and dressed like a samurai. He comes to know about an old lady who will provide him food. On arriving at her hut, he finds her hanging from ceiling. Disillusioned and hungry, he eyes a hen. But his attempt to capture the hen is foiled by the sudden arrival of Genta(Tatsuya Nakada), a vagrant. Their combined attempt to capture the hen is again disrupted by the arrival of Testutaro, a samurai. Testutaro gives his food to both Hanji and Genta. Genta is grateful to Testutaro for this gesture.
Soon, the two newly accustomed friends – Hanji and Genta – witness a raid by Testutaro and his friends on their chancellor. The chancellor is attacked and killed by Testutaro’s men. Testutaro and his friends were rebelling against the chancellor with the support of their superior Ayuzama. Ayuzama has other plans and was using Testutaro. Genta realizes this. Very soon, the two friends – Hanji and Genta - are involved in the game of intrigue and deceit; not always on the same side but always caring for each other.
Kihachi Okamoto directs this drama about samurais. He tells the story of a disillusioned samurai and a farmer who wants to be a samurai. The disillusioned one tries to show the other the real world of samurai thereby providing a glimpse of what to expect. The movie resembles “Sanjuro”(directed by Akira Kurosawa) and “A Fistful of Dollars”(directed by Sergio Leone). “Sanjuro” and “Kill!” borrows from the same source - a novel named “Peaceful Days” and “A Fistful of Dollars” is an adaptation of Sanjuro. Most of the protagonists have multiple layers wherein you can’t classify them as black or white. The dilemma and decisions faced by these characters make this movie a very interesting watch. The conversational scenes always have all the parties in one frame giving the audience liberty to choose what he wants to see – the action or the reaction. This technique helps in heightening the drama and also is in tone with the feelings of the protagonists wherein they are all forced into reacting because of the events.
A must watch!
Picture Courtesy: Yahoo! Movies