The Tale of Zatoichi Reviews
The film is rather old so it's not surprising that many of the scenes are shot more like they are part of a stage play rather than a film set and the action sequences aren't very plentiful nor very convincing.
Where this film truly shines is in the story being told. Two gangs, two master swordsman, truly dispicable yakuza members, a love struck beauty, gambling, all combine to form the backbone of a tale of honour and code versus greed and selfishness.
There are many messages and morals one can take away from The Tale of Zatoichi. The blind swordsman is true to his word, a master without sight, knowledgeable, kind, honest, desired and yet feared at the same time.
Do not take Zatoichi lightly or try to take advantage of him... it may be the last thing you do.
The basic premise was similar to the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone that were filmed in the late 1960's. The difference was that each Zatoichi film would turn out to be as much a morality statement as an action flick. The comedy bits are funny and add to the telling of the tale. This is a great film even if you aren't a fan of sub-titles.., Zatoichi let's his cane-sword do much of his talking!
-If possible, get the Criterion Collection's 25 film set complete with documentary & booklet.
Not to mention that this movie was an inspiration to the ''blind swordsman'' genres.