Culture, Film

Movie Catch-Up: Ichi

Ichi movie posterThe Zatoichi legend continues with this handsome tale of a blind, wandering musician and a cowardly samurai fighting bandits, spaghetti-Western style – with twists.

Firstly, this languid, at times dream-like Japanese movie is far from your standard katana-actioner, a long way from it’s frenetic forebears. Second, the Ichi character is a woman.

Blind from birth, Ichi (the exquisite and utterly engaging Haruka Ayase) is taught the sword by her father, for whom she now searches across Nippon’s feudal out-lands. Saving the life of a pacifist samurai, they fall into the employ of the local Yakuza, themselves under threat from disfigured gangster Banky (Shidou Nakamura).

Opening with the standard tropes of the mysterious gun-slinger arriving in town, Ichi has all the classic elements of a samurai adventure, although framed as an art-house movie by director Fumihiko Sori. The middle act replays the Fistful of Dollars / Yojimbo capture and escape of our heroine, while the third act is an epic action sequence and battle for redemption.

Ichi is at times a little slow and lingering, and the plotting is more than a little melodramatic, particularly at the climax. But the excellent cast play it straight, it has enough action to keep samurai fans hooked and it looks stunning. RC

Ichi (2008)
Director: Fumihiko Sori
Writer: Taeko Asano
Certification (UK): 15
Running time: 119 mins
Genre: Action & Adventure, Historical
Cast: Haruka Ayase, Shido Nakamura, Shidou Nakamura, Takao Osawa, Yosuke Kubozuka

Related: Casshern

About Robin Catling

Writer; performer; project manager; sports coach; all-round eccentric.


3 thoughts on “Movie Catch-Up: Ichi

  1. thanks very much for this great post!

    Posted by claudia marley | May 13, 2013, 7:17 pm
  2. Movie Catch-Up: Ichi | Everything Express

    Posted by Buz TX | Aug 14, 2013, 4:31 am


  1. Pingback: Movie Catch-Up: Thirteen Assassins (2010) | Everything Express - Oct 4, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

Follow us on Twitter @EverythingExpre

Find Us on Facebook

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



BBC World News

BBC World News
Opens the BBC World News page.
%d bloggers like this: