Are you familiar with pollarding? It's an ugly way to trim trees, usually mulberry or willow trees. Basically, they cut all the limbs off and when spring comes the tree has to sprout lots of little weak branches in order to survive. It keeps the tree in a permanent juvenile state and over time the tree can become hollow. One sees this done mostly to trees in cheaper apartment complexes and it's horrible. I always wish they would put the tree out of it's misery and chop it down altogether rather than continuing to keep it in such a weird state. All the new little branches are weak when they sprout out of the stumpy ends of the large limbs. The break away easily because they really aren't a part of the larger tree but just a desperate means of survival. They are decorative and essential but not really a part of the larger plan of the tree.
This brings me to 47 RONIN.
47 RONIN was born to be an Akira Kurosawa film.
|This shot is pure Kurosawa.|
It wanted to be visually breathtaking in it's accuracy and depth and performed in the Japanese language. It is based on the ULTRA tradtional story from Japan, a story which is so ingrained into national culture that performances of it has it's own word. 47 RONIN wanted to take the Robin Hood story of Japan and turn it into something breathless and moving and amazing and totally Japanese.
Then, the studio did this
|"Are you sure? Because even I am wondering if I'm a bad idea..."|
Keep in mind that a gargantuan amount of money was spent on this film.
|This is what a LOT of money looks like.|
|I didn't even know kimono could HAVE cowl collars.|
The studio knows it, too. The marketing is silly
|"I am in this movie for exactly 45 seconds and I got my own movie poster."|
|"Are you REALLY sure I should be in this movie? It seems strange..."|
|Pictured: more money|
I'm glad I saw it. It was beautiful. But, it was also really sad and not just because everyone dies in the end.