The Last Samurai (2003)

Movie Published 25 Jul, 2022 · 495 Words

I don’t watch western movies often. My entire entertainment diet these days is taken up by Japanese media. More specifically anime. This has been the case since I started my journey into anime back in late 2020. Ever since I got a taste. I haven’t been able to stop. As if the whole medium was made for me. I feel right at home with the stories being told. Compared to just a couple of years ago. You could say, I’ve entirely stopped watching western content. I don’t enjoy most media made by western studios anymore. I used to watch them with curious eyes. Now, my eyes only focus on the time. The last few western movies I watched were filled with utter disappointment—even movies by studios like Marvel. Whose movies I adored up until Avengers Endgame, feel stale now. Dr Strange Into the Multiverse felt like a bunch of characters who could do spectacular things a minute ago but can’t when the enemy is right in front of them. Thor Love and Thunder is basically a joke, literally. Jurassic World Dominiation is simply utter crap. Its logic is so bad I had trouble figuring out how the writers justified a plot that awful. These movies feel as if their souls had been sucked out of them. As if they are only vessels for political discourse or for jokes. The characters don’t feel real. I’m not saying the plot should be inherently grounded like Monster. But having certain limitations to the story and not covering up every character with think layers of plot armour is essential to make the viewers sympathise with them. If there are no steaks, how am I supposed to care about the fates of each character? Why would I want to go out of my way to care about them? Most modern movies are built upon their blockbusterness. They’re visual marvels. At no point in time has cinema looked this good. Unfortunately, that is all the praise that can be given to them. They are but empty, beautiful husks. Then there are movies like The Last Samurai, 12 Angry Men and The Two Popes. These titles are in my opinion the upper echelon of western media. Their stories are emotional. Their characters are multidimensional. And best of all. They don’t try to crack a joke in every scene. There’s something inherently similar to anime and western media I tend to fall in love with. They all tend to conjure hope. They always have something emotional yet aspiring to tell. Take Nathan Algren for example. The guy doesn’t give up. He always does what he believes in. Same for the protag Juror of 12 Angry Men. Or Gintoki from Gintama. All of these titles don’t delude themselves by trying to tell a story that doesn’t fit their beliefs. The characters aren’t half-assed knockoffs. As if the writers truly cared about the story they were writing. These stories have something to tell. They aren’t just winging it.

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