The Sea is Watching
July 18, 2003
This film was made from a script written by Japan’s greatest filmmaker, Akira Kurosawa, who passed away in 1998. Director Kei Kumai has taken on the daunting task of bringing Kurosawa’s vision to the big screen. Kumai tried to stay true to Kurosawa’s vision by referring to his production notes constantly. However, Kumai made sure to insert some of his own personality into the film, which seems to have worked quite well.
The story follows a young samurai named Fusanosuke (Hidetaka Yoshioka) during the Edo Period (19th century) in Japan. Our hero has taken refuge in a brothel after accidentally wounding another powerful samurai during a disagreement. The man’s colleagues are out hunting for Fusanoskue as retribution for the injuries. In the brothel, Fusanosuke befriends and falls in love with Oshin (Nagiko Tono), a kind-hearted prostitute. Even with all this turmoil going on around him, Fusanosuke is determined to reform Oshin and make her his wife.
Kurosawa based his screenplay on two short stories by one of his favorite writers, Shugoro Yamamoto. Kurosawa previously brought several other works by Yamamoto to the silver screen in the films Sanjuro, Red Beard, and Dodeskaden. I know there are many Kurosawa fans out there. Make sure not to overlook this film because of the different director. (Marty Doskins/BOP)