Masaki Kobayashi’s Seppuku is a masterpiece – no doubt about it. So is there a reason to remake/retell it? You can also call Takashi Miike’s movie a contemporary adaptation of Yasushiko Takiguchi’s novel, if you don’t want to call it a remake. But I cannot resist to consider Miike’s movie a remake. The urge to campare these 2 movies is irresistible too, so here we go with our little comparison.
So what else besides HD format, colour and a 3D option has the “new seppuku” to offer? The story of Motome and his family is much longer in the Miike movie, which makes the whole plot a bit static, at least not as dynamic as the storyline in the Kobayashi movie. The wooden-sword-harakiri-scene is longer, much violent and louder in the “new movie” but I cannot confirm that it is better than the original. The wordplay, dialogs, dialogs played by actors are much more dynamic in the “old movie” you feel sliced and diced by words and sentences of almost every scene that Tatsuya Nakadai plays in. Miike’s film on the other side has much calmer dialogs, the “slice and dice feeling” won’t come until you see Motome opening himself with his toothpick sword – and after that the feeling will be gone in a while. The final battle looks good in Takashi’s movie -we ‘ve got the snow, the surround sound… …but somehow there was not so much tension as in the 1962 movie.
The 1962 movie gave me the thrills while watchin’, the new one unfortunately not (maybe because I’ve watched it in 2D ;p ).