The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

2004

The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei) (2004)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Samurai epic as a touching drama.

AUDIENCE SCORE


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Movie Info

Veteran filmmaker Yoji Yamada -- who is perhaps most famous for cranking out most of the 48 films of the Tora-san series -- directs this good-natured drama set in the waning years of the Edo period (1600-1867). Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada) is a low-level samurai struggling to get by on stipend of 50 rice bales a year while working as a clerk at the clan office. While his co-workers spend their evenings sucking down sake at the local pub, Seibei, whose wife has passed away, heads straight home to care for his two young daughters and doddering mother. One day, his friend Michinojo (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) tells him that his boyhood friend Tomoe (Rie Miyazawa), is leaving her thuggish husband and returning home. Tomoe soon starts to frequent Seibei's house, taking care of his daughters, while Seibei quietly falls in love with the attractive young lass. After defeating Tomoe's husband in a duel, armed with only a pointed stick, Seibei is asked by Michinojo if he wants to marry Tomoe. Seibei declines, too embarrassed by his poverty to accept. Later, as he prepares to perform the distasteful task of killing a fellow samurai, he learns that Tomoe is engaged to another man. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (26)

The story sometimes slips into soapy territory, but when you think the schmaltz is going to ruin it, Yamada gives it just enough of a twist to make you realize this is not your regular romantic film.

Sep 24, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Beautifully captures the end of an age.

Sep 17, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

A small, respectful corrective.

Jul 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

An affecting look at the vulnerable side of a warrior

Jul 2, 2004

As Iguchi, Mr. Sanada epitomizes the kind of man who can still dream and be true to himself amid the daily grind and turmoil. That's a welcome role model in any age.

Jul 1, 2004 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

About the last days of an era, whittled to a poetic vision of a worthy, solitary man.

Jun 17, 2004 | Rating: A-

Audience Reviews for The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

Awesome Japanese 'Jane Austen' samurai drama flick. The direction of the film is beautifully impressionist. Yôji Yamada crafts pictures of everyday life which gives us an inherent understanding of the life of Seibei Iguchi (Hiroyuki Sanada), a low-ranking widowed samurai with a senile mother and two daughters, working in the castle's stores and taking in piecework to get by. Sanada is really a marvel to watch; he adds a very sensible depth and modesty to the character, and infuses it with some understated comic acting as well. As his returning childhood friend, Rie Miyazawa has a beautiful, spirited feminity that makes Sanada seem even more of a macho hunk in contrast.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

The Twilight Samurai tells of gentle tale of the sacrifices of a determined father and brave warrior who is burdened, but refuses to succumb to the weight of his responsibilities to his family and clan. Impressive perspective on Japanese history and tradition. Skillful performances and cinematography. Precise emotions. Profound insights. Stunning.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

A rather quiet film, The Twilight Samurai is a gentle, insightful, beautiful piece about a widower who works as a dull accountant for a war lord. And, oh yes, he happens to be a hell of a good swordsman when necessary. He reluctantly fights and only seeks to do exactly enough to halt the attacks. All that might seem to be code words for dull, but Twilight Samurai is a fascinating, unique and thought provoking glimpse into the life of a low-ranking Samurai. Highly recommended for any fan of samurai films. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Touching, low-key melodrama on the personal side of a japanese warrior / salaryman. Bonus points for cool alternate language titles: Le Samouraï du Crépuscule and Samurai in der Dämmerung.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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