Sunday, August 3, 2014

Alex's Lessons From 'The Last Samurai'



Movie Clips and Soundtracks from:  'The Last Samurai'
(Spoilers)



Alex and I had eaten...
gone on our nightly walk...
showered...
and then settled in to watch my favorite movie of all time:

'The Last Samurai'





I love this movie so much
(I have seen it close to twenty times since it had come out over 10 years ago...
and I love it more with each viewing).

It is not just because it is such a shining example of...
a righteous fight for Justice...and so, the earning of Honor...
the demonstrated steadfast Courage in the face of almost certain death...
and the earning of redemption through honorable actions...
it has the powerful undercurrent of a great love story...
not just a great romantic love between a man and a woman...
but a great paternal and parental love between a father figure and a young boy.


The character Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise)...
is one of an initially lost soul who is tortured
by guilt for his past actions...
and whom feels he has nothing for which to live.

He eventually finds, not just redemption...
but a reason to live fully through honor and love.



The character Katsumoto (Ken Watanabe)...
is of a man who has lived his whole life with honor...
and through his subsequent actions in the face of death...
 had achieved even greater honor through his death.

This actor did a superb job in his role in this movie.
He was made for this part.


The character Taka (Koyuki)...
was of a woman who, though was initially angry...
had her heart softened through her observations
into the character of her initial object of hate
(Nathan had killed her husband in combat).

She had seen a man worthy of her respect
by observing a once undisciplined and empty hearted man
develop into a man who not only developed discipline...
but one who, through his demonstrated courage and his willingness 
to fight for a cause higher than himself...had developed a sense of honor.


She developed love for him by seeing a compassionate
and open hearted side to him as evidenced through
his caring interaction with one of her sons.

(another example of the epitome of feminine beauty)

Although the two had shared but a brief and very chaste kiss...
this one look on Taka's face spoke volumes about her deep love
for Nathan Algren.

A woman is at her most beautiful when she conveys love through her eyes.

When a woman has a warm and open enough heart to show her love
through her body language, facial expressions...
and especially...through her eyes...
she becomes irresistible.

I wanted Alex to know that although love should be expressed through actions...
it is best first expressed with the meeting of the hearts through the eyes.

Feelings which are sacred...
often cannot be expressed through words alone...
and especially when love is first felt...
to say it without first having a heart to heart meeting as conveyed by the eyes...
is to say the love is not true.

Lips may lie...
the eyes do not.

To rush a process which protects each other from possible unwanted intrusion
is to not only show disrespect...
it shows that what the intruder wishes is for, ultimately, his satisfaction
without a care of the effect it may have on the person he professes to love
through his words.

It demonstrates someone who tries to force his feelings on another
by not ensuring she shares his feelings by first reading her heart...
and so, does not know what true love is.

When a person allows another to gaze into his or her eyes...
they are allowing their true feelings to be seen by the other
through the window to their heart.

The eyes convey emotions which are too deep for mere words...
and through the great subtlety of the eyes...
a more true gauge of the feelings of each person may be established.


The character Higen (Sosuke Ikematsu)
was the young son who felt a love for the father figure
that Nathan had come to be.

I am especially impressed by this young man's acting ability.
He expressed the emotional subtleties of a veteran actor.

One of the most touching scenes I have ever seen
demonstrating the paternal and parental love each felt for the other
was just before Nathan departed for the final battle.


The character Nobutada (Shin Koyamada)...
was a man of compassion and great courage.

He had a pure heart...
and the fierce fighting spirit and calm composure of a true warrior.



The character Ujio (Hiroyuki Sanada)...
was a man filled with a sense of duty and honor...
and although, at first, was portrayed as someone who was unnecessarily harsh...
he grew to respect Nathan as he had seen his courage and will...
thereby allowing the viewers to realize that
Ujio fought for Justice...not for bloodlust.

I have long admired this great actor from his many Samurai movies.



The character of Emperor Meiji 
(Nakamura Shichinosuke II)...
had demonstrated the initial actions of a man whom 
had allowed himself to be cowed into silence.

It was only through the great demonstrated courage and honor of Katsumoto 
did the Emperor become inspired enough to truly lead his people.



At the conclusion of the movie...
I asked Alex what he had most liked about it.

Alex said that he liked the fighting spirit of the Samurai...
especially by how they had fought courageously for Justice...
and how they had greatly valued Honor.


Alex also realizes that true love is not born of lust
(it is a means of showing love...love does not arise from it).
It is a true affair of the heart which demands nothing less
than strict reverence if one is to truly experience it.

It is sacred...
and the initial actions are subtle out of concern for the other
precisely because with true love...
the happiness of the other person supersedes your own.

I wish for Alex to realize that there must be a meeting of the hearts
 (as demonstrated through marriage first)
before there is a meeting of the bodies.

It is the look of deep love Taka shows Nathan...
that I want Alex to experience later in life
(hopefully from my future daughter-in-law).

It is one of the most sacred and life changing feelings a person can experience...
to be deeply in love with someone who loves you deeply.

It is through great movies and dramas that I wish to expose Alex
to the full depth of the great human emotional experiences... 
so he may then use them as a guide for his own life.













2 comments:

  1. It has been a long time since I've seen The Last Samurai and First Knight. I had forgotten much of the plots, but you have me wanting to see them again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Alex liked these movies. I will keep showing him examples of great virtues through movies and dramas.

    ReplyDelete

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