Monday, 5 May 2014

Goemon (2009)

I started to watch the taiga drama (again, I don't know how much of it I'll manage to watch, but expect a review of its Nobunaga) Gunshi Kanbei, and noticing that Eguchi Yosuke, who's playing Nobunaga there, starred in another movie featuring Nobunaga and ninjas, I had to give it a try.

This movie follows the typical plots of ninja-based jidaigeki movies: you have a poor boy who becomes a ninja to save himself from some miserable situation, gets superstrong, then realizes that joy is in other things, tries to get out of the ninja world but for some external circumstance independent from his will he can't do it and has to fight again for his rights, while behind the scenes the powerful guys keep pulling the strings to toy with the lives of "commoners" who can't get the "big picture".

The amusing things of this movie are two: the photography and scenography are both WONDERFUL, detailed, luxurious and extravagant enough to please me to no end (I even forgot to care about the invasive CG), and most importantly, for once Nobunaga is not portrayed as the villanious psycho, on the contrary, he's the patron and motivator of the protagonist.

Nobunaga here is played by Nakamura Hashinosuke.
I can't really say that I like or dislike his acting, 'cause the Nobunaga that he plays has such a hieratic and "divine" vibe that it's difficult to understand the skills of the actor: one is just expected to be IN AWE whatever Nobunaga does, and under this aspect, Nakamura is pretty good in delivering the right gestus when needed.
Portrayed as an inspiring warrior and a patron, Nobunaga in this movie is a rolemodel for the young Goemon: not only the boy looks up to him to get encouraged and inspired, but even when he turns into a thief, he tries to "save" the little Koheita using the same words that Nobunaga used with him.

The story is set during the rule of Hideyoshi (here portrayed as the super-villain of the story, followed by his traitorous retainer Ishida Mitsunari), but Nobunaga is shown during the flashbacks of Goemon, who uses to remember about his happy times while being in his service (and Chacha's).

There are many cool moments where this character shines, and one of my personal favourites is obviously the scene of the Atsumori dance, one of the most inspiring and poetic moments of the movie:

Long story short, I enjoyed watching this movie, and I liked its portrayal of Nobunaga.
It isn't something that one may expect from the genre, and I can see many wrinkling their noses to the excessive use of CG (sometimes it feels like watching a music video of Lady Gaga) and absolute lack of realism of any kind, but it entertained me just fine, even if it made me also a little more ignorant on Japanese story∼


  1. My first reaction when seeing this was "Am I watching Final Fantasy?" XD
    I'm not even sure what to say about this movie when I first watched it. I was too busy being confused, trying to figure out what is going on (in the end the story is simply "Goemon does things, the end").

    1. Mine too XD But once I realized the kind of movie it was, It was easy to get comfy with it XD

      --Did you ever watch other ninja movies of the sort? The plot was pretty much standard... But a mention was due because usually Nobunaga in these movies is a the default target of ninja XD It was nice to find some that served and loved him T3T !

  2. Oh no, it's just in English the summary says "The story of Goemon, who is like Japanese version of Robin Hood".

    But the plot has nothing to do about the "gentleman thief" part except for like 10 minutes in the beginning. Then it becomes a fight against Hideyoshi, and then it becomes Sekigahara. So I was confused because the advertisement is wrong! XDD

    1. Well, Goemon is that kind of character in Japanese folk :D ->
      But yeah, the movie was more about his deal with the current political situation rather than his Robin Hood adventures... I won't complain, though XD

  3. Ahaha, I know who Goemon is, Dae!

    I just wish they wrote the advertisement correctly. Something like this maybe: "gentleman thief Goemon accidentally gets involved in a plot involving the regent Hideyoshi".

    1. I guessed that they were just trying to give a flashy background of the character to casual watchers XD !