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Last Date : Sunday night
The Last Samurai – 2 Discs
Cast: Tom Cruise, Timothy Spall, Ken Watanabe, Billy Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, Koyuki.
Directed By: Edward Zwick
The two-disc set offers a lot to digest on this rare classic work of Tom Cruise. The action – romance flick on disc one, as well as the dozen extra features that clock over two hours on disc two, are engrossing and worth watching, It’s a good companion to understand the movie better.
The story is set in the 1870’s and revolves around American Capt Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a civil war hero who sells Winchester rifles. He is a victim of guilt, from his killing innocent Native-American women and children after the War while serving in the Seventh Cavalry. He seeks redemption, but cannot find it, instead he finds money.
The Japanese Emperor is looking for a military leader to train their new Imperial Army in their move towards westernization and use of modern weaponry. They also need an army to quell an uprising of samurai who were dedicated to preserving the country's old ways. The samurai are trying to dissuade the young and impressionable Emperor from following his advisors, who are counseling him to give up the centuries-old traditions of their country and adopt Western ways. Mercenary officer Col Bagley (Tony Goldwyn) offers Algren the job. Algren accepts it. Katsumoto (Ken Watanobe) is the leader of the rebellious and ancient samurai who Algren has to face in his first battle against the modern world. In his first encounter Algren is defeated and taken prisoner.
Katsumoto is impressed with Algren’s courage and keeps him alive. Algren lives with them and learns their customs, codes of honor, even their language. He is looked after by Katsumoto's widowed sister, Taka (Koyuki) whose husband Algren killed in battle. Algren is attracted to bushido (the samurai code of honor, self-discipline and simple-living) and also Taka. Within a year of his living with the samurai he becomes an honorary samurai and helps his new friends to defend their culture from his cronies.
- By Verus Ferreira