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To of the finest film in the history of Japanese cinema. As much as I love the Mifune/Kurosawa combination I give the slight edge to Harakiri which has a truly fascinating story and powerful narrative structure. It also has a great score and some of the most amazing cinematography ever. Both are brilliant films though.
Harakiri is definitely a great film, but not a particularly enjoyable one. Yojimbo squeaks by in this matchup just for being so much fun.
I thought it was. It's dark and it has a tendency to lean towards being depressing, but it's a wonderful exercise in suspense; once you start to piece things together, your feet start tapping in anticipation, and Nakadai keeps that calm exterior even though we can sense that the man's going to unleash a righteous ass-whooping. It's incredibly moving and seriously badass at the same time. Damn good movie.
Enjoyable, I mean.
Gotta say...Harakiri gets the edge for me...
"Harakiri" is dark, disturbing and striking. Some of its dark and grotesque imagery strikes me as unfortunately. It has a superb performance from Kurosawa collaborator, Takashi Shimura, but the victory of this matchup definitely goes to Kurosawa's "Yojimbo", which is now in my top 25.
Harakiri wins. Yojimbo is a fantastic movie, but Harakiri goes deep and strikes at the gut hard, while Yojimbo is at its core a lighthearted romp.
Disturbing, yes. That scene (you know the scene) hit me HARD. That was really hard to watch, and this is a guy who watches Miike flicks without flinching. Sweet Jeebus, that was rough.
Harakiri is a movie that's stuck with me since I watched it years ago. It is depressing, but awesomely so. It's worth sitting through the misery just to witness the righteous ass-kicking that follows. Yojimbo is nowhere near as potent an experience. I rewatched it recently and was kind of bored.