|47 Ronin is the movie that brings everything in this book to life on the screen.|
This Christmas' 47 Ronin is what is called in Japan, a chūshingura. It's got the same story of 47 leaderless samurai and their quest for revenge after their master is murdered, but it is set in a fantastical world that has ki-rin, wizards, dragons, trolls, and even tengu.
|Pirate Island. Click to Embiggen|
|Click to Embiggen|
According to those who have seen clips of this film, everything is stunning. When the lord of the samurai dies, there are so many cherry blossoms that every single gust of wind floats a flower across the screen. The main star of the film, Keanu Reeves, actually learned Japanese so that he could be more convincing in the role. Everyone gets costumes down to the guy that stands in the background with no speaking part. Even dogs that aren't important to the film have costumes! Pastoral shots contain supernatural tidbits: giant statues are carved into the country's horizons, a character doesn't live in a castle but in a fortress on the top of a snowy mountain, and the pirate ship island is an entire island of pirate ships all strung together to make a floating city on the ocean. Nothing is understated and even the tiniest of details matters. There's a scene with handmaidens wearing a cream kimono with an important tree on the back. If they all stand together, they are actually a Japanese screen with the tree spanning complete through each and every one. In other words, each of the girls has a piece of the tree.
In the clip below, a witch draws a man's hatred out of his body and turns it into a living spider. It's really interesting and gives you a sense of how strange and magical this movie is going to be. I think 47 Ronin is going to be everything that Dungeons & Dragons Oriental Adventures wanted to be.