This film was slow and filled to the brim with 18th century Japanese ceremony. I could go on about how boring this film can be, but that would be boring too. What is interesting about this film is how the story is used as propaganda for Imperial Japan.
The story is about Lord Asano’s samurai. Lord Asano is forced to commit hara-kiri after he attacked a shogunate official who tried to bribe him. His samurai seek revenge and decapitate the official. Then, instead of simply going on as Ronin, they decide that they are also lawful samurai. Therefore, they must turn themselves in and accept the sentence. The sentence of course is hara-kiri, which they all do willingly.
The meaning of the story has been geared toward loyalty. Loyalty to your master and loyalty to the state. There are many different versions of this story and each tells the story of it’s time. This one reminds us of WWII Japan. It’s boring, but it has it’s merits. Approach it with caution.