Review: TATARA SAMURAI Forges Purpose From Imperfection

Aoyagi’s own performance doesn’t stretch really far in some instances while he does seem to illuminate in some scenes more palpably, and as equally needed in the few poignant moments he shares with Ishii. It’s exemplary of Nishikori’s handling of a film of this scale and sizes, offering a well-balanced period drama with a vast, epic scope that maintains its focus on character given the existential developments that accumulate along the way. You don’t immediately learn much from the subplot about how it all adds up, but you do get a sense of what is happening going into the second act. Actress Tabata Tomoko is instrumental here in the role of Okyo who appears seldom in the film, and mostly where it counts as the film seuges onward in its delivery in both compelling drama and cohesive storytelling.