- Actores: Robert Mitchum, Takakura Ken, Brian Keith
- Directores: Sydney Pollack
- Formato: PAL
- Audio: Alemán (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Inglés (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Castellano (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
- Subtítulos: Castellano, Inglés, Alemán, Danés, Finlandés, Noruego, Sueco, Portugués
- Subtítulos para sordos: Inglés
- Región: Región 2 (Más información sobre Formatos de DVD.)
- Número de discos: 1
- Calificación española (ICAA): Apta para todos los públicos
- Estudio: Warner Bros. Entertainment
- Fecha de lanzamiento: 11 sept 2007
- Duración: 107 minutos
- Valoración media de los clientes: 1.0 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Ver todas las opiniones (1 opinión de cliente)
- ASIN: B0053CBAOA
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº29.271 en Cine y Series TV (Ver el Top 100 en Cine y Series TV)
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Descripción del producto
El ex-espía privado Harry Kilmer sabe mucho sobre Japón y sobre los delincuentes que controlan todos los fraudes relacionados con el juego y la prostitución. Además sabe perfectamente como acercarse a esos bajos fondos y qué es lo que más se respeta entre los gángsters de ese mundo: tener más poder que ellos.
Robert Mitchum interpreta a Kilmer en este thriller que es una caza entre Este y Oeste. La película cuenta con un reparto estelar, con los guionista Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) y Robert Towne (Chinatown) y con el director Sydney Pollack (La Intérprete). Otro actor destacado es el japonés Takakura Ken y el veterano Brian Keith. Yakuza es una joya del género negro moderno en la que el honor y la lealtad se convierten en valores de vida o muerte. La violencia irrumpe en la película de manera brutal y lo último que muere en este film es la tradición.
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Look up 'film noir' in the dictionary and there should be a picture of Robert Mitchum in The Yakuza, alongside Bogie in The Maltese Falcon. It's that good of a film.
The theme is about honor, or "giri." The last bastion of manhood in an relativistic world ambivalent towards heroism, unsure about any values, moral or otherwise, and gone to hell.
Against this background, you may be a tad on the shady side of the law, but do you keep faith with your friends?
For that matter, would you risk taking a bullet for someone you personally loathe but whom you "owe" because he's saved the life of your wife and child?
The plot begins when Mitchum is approached by an old army buddy that he hasn't heard from in decades, save for the annual obligatory Christmas card. His daughter's been kidnapped by Japanese mobsters and he needs his help.
As to Mitchum, his character is established in one line.
"You've been successful?"
Mitchum: "That depends on how you figure those things."
True enough. He has no family, no friends, no one even remotely close. The film noir loner, now in his sixties.
He goes back to Japan, links up with the only woman he ever loved, and the one enemy who can help him gain entry into the dark world of the Yakuza; an ultra-traditionalist latter-day Samurai ( Tanaka Ken ) who "owes" Mitchum.
One small problem, he's no longer a Yakuza. He's been out of the mob for years. When Mitchum finds out this unpleasant bit of inforation and blurts out "I can't ask you to do that!" Tanaka Ken quietly replies: "You already have."
The aged warriors go to it again. A great story of love and betrayal. Acted in a style of understated whispers between flashing katanas that bring the house down.
So, my Dad is paying for the two of us, and right before we walk inside he leans down and says to me, "You know, this is the closest thing I've ever seen to understanding the differences between the East and West." You gotta understand that my Dad hardly ever said anything. So, this comment blew me away. My attention was riveted. It took me by the collar and pulled my focus away from the windex/old candy odor of the floors, the torn seat cushions where I was sure some old rats called home, and the dirty beach towel someone had hung to keep the light out of the hallway into the "theater."
The movie exceeded my expectations. It all starts with the shot of a gangster with tatoos all over the back of his body. Safe to say, even if you've seen or read the Illustrated Man, you've never seen anything like this before. I mean who the heck would ever let anyone tattoo them from neck to toe? You've basically got it all. Robert Mitchum in his creaky, world-weary mode, delivering lines like a T-Rex with attitude. You've got supporting roles from the likes of Brian Keith who brings a sad, pathetic lining to his double-crossing, gambling freak role. How far you've come from that crappy seventies TV family show--dude, you can act!
Then, you've got a terrific foil for Mitchum in one of Japan's leading actors of all time. The hate between these characters is communicated in a glance, in the quiet way lines are delivered. The two men both loved the same woman--and she only took up with Mitchum's character because she thought her husband was dead. What a sad, true-to-life premise. Circling the three are a band of wolves, the gangsters from this Japanese Organized Crime Syndicate aka The Yakuza.
Hold onto your hat when the bad guys invade the private home and literally mow down the Westerners--sticking a sword in the gut of one guy. I am telling you, when this happened, I thought I could feel the cold metal entering my spleen. It all winds up with a really great take-the-battle-to-the-enemy conclusion where Mitchum goes in with his metal boot kicking down rice paper walls, with two shotguns blazing. The sword work is elegant, terrifying and so real, again, it hurts.
But, the real scene that you will always remember is the denoument, when Mitchum slices off the tip of his finger, what appears to be real perspiration rolling down his forehead, and offers it as a gift to atone for his wrongdoing. I thought about this ending for years. I kept hearing my Dad's voice whispering in my ear outside on the sidewalk...the differences between East and West.
Watch this movie in your best "Lost in Translation" mode. Know that it is an original painting--nothing about it is derivative. Give it a chance to breathe. Ask yourself, what if this were me? Would I walk into a massacre about to happen out of honor? In the end, the message, I think, is that an honorable life is the only way to go for men and women who only have their honor at the end of the day.
Belonging to that subgenre of Americans-in-Japan thrillers (Fuller's House of Bamboo, Scott's Black Rain, Frankenheimer's The Challenge), The Yakuza is a film about the price of honor and about people who face their responsibilities. The film could almost be called `giri' - Japanese for obligation or the burden hardest to bear. Richard Jordan's bodyguard may start out wiseguy ("That can work both ways. If you ain't alive tomorrow, he don't owe you s***.") but even he lives up to his moral obligations when discharged from them by Mitchum. All of the plot developments are a result of obligations, with the characters following through as per their personal codes of honor, taken to the ultimate extreme in Mitchum's final apology to Takakura Ken for destroying both his past and his future.
The hook might be that Mitchum returns to Japan to help secure the release of an old army friend's daughter from a Yakuza clan and in the process reopening old wounds with former lover Kishi Keiko and her brother Takakura Ken, but the emotional undercurrents are as important as the plot developments, with the film's criminal double-dealing mirrored in the myriad personal betrayals he is as he is forced to face the fact that he has always confused his friends with his enemies.
It is not a film that wears its emotions on its sleeve, and is all the more affecting for that the awkwardness of Mitchum's meeting with Ken and the hesitancy of his reunion with Keiko (and the subtle re-enactment of the old photos in her album) - everything is in the pauses and between the lines. It's these emotional undercurrents that make it stand up to repeated viewings.
The early seventies was a last golden age for the eternally under-rated Mitchum, with outstanding performances in The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Farewell My Lovely and Ryan's Daughter, and this is one of his best. His `strange stranger' and Takakura Ken's `man who never smiles' ("He's been unhappy ever since he lost the war. I keep trying to tell him it's not his fault but he won't take my word for it") is a match made in casting heaven. Their screen presence is remarkably similar, exuding a lifetime of world-weariness and personal loss that attracts both empathy and respect for their characters. Both give superbly understated performances, with the great Takakura Ken getting his best English-language role to date.
Jordan gives a nicely unassuming performance in the juvenile lead, making the most of his romantic subplot by showing the least, and there's an added poignancy to his fate since the actor's death. Indeed, all the performances are superb, with the emphasis on being rather than acting.
The screenplay as filmed is a terrific mixture of the commercial and the cerebral. Where most modern American thrillers are driven by indiscriminate violence ("In America, a guy cracks up he opens a window and kills a few strangers. Here, a guy cracks up, he closes the window and kills himself," observes Jordan), here events and participants are interconnected. All of the main characters are friends or surrogate family, and although Robert Towne was brought in to up the gangster element from the Shraders' (Leonard and Paul) more philosophical approach (the differences can be found in Leonard Schrader's novelization), he knows enough to keep it personal. It's witty too, without being condescending or resorting to the pre-kill one-liners so prevalent today that divorce the audience from the consequences and ramifications of violence. Only a very dialog-heavy bit of exposition about the backstory between Mitchum and Keiko feels a tad clumsy.
Sydney Pollack's sensitivity to the material is remarkable. There's an unshowy adventurousness to his direction that he hasn't displayed since. In particular, the action scenes are extraordinary without ever straying from the credible, a disciplined mixture of stillness and sudden violence and a complete departure in style for the director.
Warners' new DVD is long overdue, and very welcome indeed. Extras are a little thin - a very good 19-minute promotional featurette from 1974, Promises to Keep, and an audio commentary from Sydney Pollack - and it's disappointing that the deleted scenes from the longer 123-minute version of the film are not included.
My problem with the video is this: there are omissions from this version that were in the first version I saw. Some footage has been edited out, and although its omission does not adversely affect the story line, it was an effective contribution. Also, there are sections where subtitles are omitted. (My most recent viewing was in the company of a friend who speaks Japanese and English, and they provided their own comments regarding the accuracy, not necessarily of the English rendering, but more on what the Japanese "should" have been in the context.) Mind you, the movie is in English, with some segments of Japanese dialog. But it was disappointing that some of the most eloquent dialog wasn't even translated.
Maybe someone, somewhere, will grant my wish and produce an unexpurgated version on DVD ...