Any other fans of Japanese history here?
This movie takes place after the unification of Japan but before the rise of the Meiji era.
It did an excellent job of conveying the ideology of the era. It shows the conflict of loyalty in a time when it was valued above all else.
The internal conflict that arises in the characters is underplayed, but becomes a crucial part of the story towards the end.
The sword play in this movie is following the trend of grit in movies. There is no elegant sword play, it shows it not as a flowery dance sequence but for what it is, a way to end a human being's life.
As where Chinese films tend to romanticize time periods this movie unveils the brutality of it and for that I am appreciative. It's dark, gritty, and there is no love plot.
This is a war movie, a really great war movie.