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Verified Member MouthShut Verified Member
Chennai India
The way of the Samurai
Feb 04, 2004 02:33 PM 5397 Views
(Updated Feb 04, 2004 03:50 PM)





What does it mean to be a Samurai? to utterly devote yourself to the principles, To obtain stillness of the mind. Begin your day by devoting yourself to perfection in everything that you pursue. To learn the way of the sword. I am not a church going man. It is not for me to question Gods purpose in my life from the battlefields.

What is the difference between a Soldier and a Warrior? One fights because he is told to, the other fights for his beliefs and convictions. The warrior fights on his own free will and he gets to choose his enemy unlike the soldier. The Last Samurai is one such tale of a soldier, a Captain in the admiral ranks serving the US Army, who has fallen prey to a newer way of life - sophisticated yet simple transition to a Warrior - to fight for what he believed in.

The Movie opens with Katsomoto's (Ken Watanabe) visions. A white tiger fighting in the midst of the Samurai. The white tiger is the mascot for his revolution. He leads the revolution against the emperor?s idea of modernization. Emperor Meiji (Shichinosuke Nakamura) wants his army to be trained in the latest warfare. Captain Algren (Tom Cruise) bears a horrid past from his battles with the Sioux Red Indian Tribes and a bad blood with Colonel Benjamin Bagley ( Tony Goldwyn). Colonel Bagley and Captain Algren take up the Emperor's offer to train the Japanese soldiers in Warfare against the Samurai rebels.

On the first encounter with the Katsomoto?s army, all hell breaks lose and Algren?s army retreats, while Algren is left to his own to fight the rebels. It is at this time, Katsomoto realizes that his vision of the White tiger comes personified in Algren. Algren is taken Captive, but not before Algren slays Katsomoto?s Brother-In-Law.

Algren finds himself being taken care of by Katsomoto?s sister Taka (Koyuki), the widow of the same person whom Algren killed in battle. While in captivity, Algren learns the Way of the Samurai, fascinated by the way they live devoting themselves to stillness of the mind and purity of the heart, he finds a contrary to what he was told that they are barbarians and savages. Algren, though released from his captivity, decides to aid the samurais, for now, He has found something right to fight for. He is on a side of warriors who are led by their convictions into the battle. Katsomoto?s Visionary White tiger has come true in the form of Algren.


Tom Cruise was absolutely brilliant and surely surpasses all his previous performances. This role deserves an Oscar by all means. He had prepared for his role for two years by learning the Japanese language and learning to fight the swords the samurai way. For Ken Watanabe this is the first time He is on an English movie, and his performance was par excellent and convincing playing a rebel leader. Tony Goldwyn was just as good doing a negative role as in Ghost, The 6th Day etc. Koyuki, not just pretty but convincing as a widow of a fallen Samurai and doing her duty. Others in the supportive cast was just as good.

Watch out for ---

  1. Taka always kneels on the floor before closing the door. It?s a typical Japanese custom. Brilliant performance.

  2. Japanese say ''aye'' for ''Yes''. Eventually you will find Algren saying ''aye''.

  3. When Algren faces the samurai Warriors for the first time, He was partly terrified when they charged against him. In the Final battle against the emperor's army, Algren fights alongside Katsomoto. Algren looks with pride at the warriors when they charge towards him, the same who charged against him the first time. This time He is on their side. He identifies himself with them.



Emperor Meiji: Tell me how he died.

Algren: I will tell you how he lived


Algren: You want me to kill Jappos, I'll kill Jappos.

Colonel Bagley: I'm not asking you to kill anybody.

Algren: You want me to kill the enemies of Jappos, I'll kill the enemies of Jappos Rebs, The Sioux, The Cheyenne For 500 dollars a month I'll kill whoever you want. But keep one thing in mind; I'd gladly kill you for free.


Algren: I have been hired to suppress the rebellion of yet another tribal leader. Apparently, this is the only job for which I am suited. I am beset by the ironies of my life


Colonel Bagley: you will be treated as one of them. You will be shown no mercy.

Algren: I'll look for you on the field.


Katsomoto: You get nightmares.

Algren: Every Soldier gets nightmares

Katsomoto: Only those who are ashamed of what they have done have nightmares.

And for Desserts..

Captain Algren is like any other white man of his time. Some greedy, some have remorse of what they have done. For years after the civil war and fighting the Red Indians, Captain Algren had nightmares of his own past. A twist of fate takes him as a captive to the Katsumoto's village, life changes for Algren. He finds a certain spiritual fulfillment being with these people. He finds a new reason to live. The next time He fights He chooses the side and fights for the side he believes is the right one. Katsumoto wasn?t fighting for land, money or political power. He was fighting to preserve his heritage. this flick deserves an Oscar for the Best actor Tom Cruise, Best Screenplay, sound effects and best photography.

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The Last Samurai Movie