Monday, 4 May 2009

Goemon - a legendary Japanese hero

Ishikawa Goemon, a 16th century Robin Hood, became a legendary hero of the feudal wars in the pre-Tokugawa era. He is played by Eguchi Yosuke, a hunk and eye candy if there ever was one.

Born into a samurai family, he had a brutal start to life being witness to the murder of his parents. He was taken under the wing of then warlord and was exposed to an early training to be a ninja.

"Like the cherry blossom which falls from the tree in its prime, the samurai must have no regrets when his life is cut off."

Directed by Kazuaki Kiriya former music video wunderkind turned feature film director, GOEMON is stylish beyond words! Move over Lord of the Rings...this one has it all and more. Check out the trailer.

The movie starts with an explosion of colour and fireworks celebrating a victorious battle and quickly moves onto a dance sequence in a 16th century dance club. No I'm not kidding! The writhing ensemble in hip hop beat had a definite Bollywood feel which is the rave in most music videos these days, I am told.

The blend between CGI and live action was seamless - quite often you wonder if you are watching anime. Word has it that Kiriya leased a gymnasium and this became the largest green screen set ever. The large-scale battle scenes and flying ninjas over rooftops were especially effective. The director chose to wax and wane between a blue-black-white palette for the action scenes and vivid warm colours at other times.
The love interest of Goemon, Chacha, is exquisitely framed in this tableaux and it is impossible not to fall in love with her the moment you set eyes on her.

Her anime character-like facial features highlight the excellent casting for this movie. The director managed to draw on all the big names in cinema. For movie buffs this is a must see...if it is shown in your country...otherwise use your creativity and find it on the internet.

As with all Japanese movies, anime and TV dramas merchandising of kawaii kyara (cute characters) is a must. They are sold at cinemas and in specialty shops. The popular fad is to collect hand phone charms and literally make your mobile a heavier and noisier device than it already is.

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