DVD Wara no tate

DVD Wara no tate
DVD Wara no tate

Run time: 124 min
Rating: 6.3
Genres: Thriller
Director: Takashi Miike
Writers: Kazuhiro Kiuchi, Tamio Hayashi
Stars: Nanako Matsushima, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Takao Ohsawa
After killing a 7-year-old girl, psychopath Kunihide Kyomaru turns himself in to the police. Since his victim was the daughter of one of the country’s richest men, terminally ill billionaire Ninagawa, who buys ads in all the major papers offering a hefty reward for anyone who kills Kunihide. There are a few caveats, including a clause that the execution must be authorized by the government, but the consequences are clear: It’s open season on Kunihide, who has nothing but five dedicated cops to protect him, led by security police lieutenant Kazuki Mekari. Written by anonymous
Plot Keywords: three word title
Country: Japan
Release Date: 26 April 2013 (Japan)


  1. Shield of Straw (2013) (Japanese Thriller)

    Viewed on April 26th, 2013 at Shinuku Piccadilly Cinema in Tokyo, Japan. No subtitles.

    After a young girl is murdered, the grandfather publicly issues a $10 million bounty on the head of the prime suspect (an already convicted rapist/murderer played by Tatsuya Fujiwara). An idealistic cop (Takao Osawa) is assigned the protect and transport the suspect despite the repeated assassination attempts. This film by Takashi Miike is absorbing and pushes the protagonist's ideals to the limit, especially considering how the suspect is obviously a homicidal maniac whose protection endangers the lives of both police officers and citizens. As the bodycount of innocent deaths rise, it becomes more and more difficult to justify the suspects' protection. There are a few good action moments to enjoy, but the tension is expressed more so in the threat than the actual violence itself.

    One thing I would like to point out is with regard to the performances by both lead actors, which are very strong. This is a bit surprising given their histories. I would not personally classify Tatsuya Fujiwara as a "great" actor, and he does not belong in the same ranks as other Japanese stars like Hiroshi Abe and Koji Yakusho. That said, he has definitely grown on me over the past few years with his performances in "Parade" (2009) and now this film. I see him building a respectable career into the future. Then there's Takao Osawa, a man who has had his fair share of cartoonish and/or stiff performances. But here he turns in the best performance of his career, and actually carries the film on his shoulders from start to finish. Ironically, I also recently saw him give a good performance in "Strawberry Night" (2012), so he is also growing on me.

    Miike's direction is impressive as always. He represents a great example of a once cult director who has retained his filmmaking qualities despite turning to mainstream projects. In fact, I'd say that his "hit or miss" career has actually grown more consistent in recent years. Fans should see "Shield of Straw" as soon as possible.

    P.S. – This film was apparently panned at the Cannes Film Festival, which is not much of a surprise since it's probably the most "commercial" film in competition.

  2. Shield of Straw is a most see movie. Despite all of the frenesi it's causing all around, it has a good storyline, excellent screenplay and a brilliant performance from all the cast in the movie, especially Tatsuya Fujiwara who deserves all prizes he can get for this great performance.

    Basically the movie explores the fight between drug dealers and corrupt cops against the good policemen's, some of them from the military police force and most of them from G-MAN. That's the way the director Miike's sees this fight which is not entirely true. Although it shows how the corruption of the Military Police Force works out in the Shinjuku district, how the system is used against itself and how the bureaucracy makes everything so difficult that it's almost impossible for honest people to deal with their own personal issues without dealing with crime. And by the way, that's entirely true.

    The baseline of the movie is the story of Kiuchi's, who is the captain of Special Forces Operations Battalion which can be compared to SWAT. Kunihide needs a replacement and he needs to find the right person, someone who has all of the qualities the job demands. Two guys come up to be this person but none of them have all it takes. Masaki has the attitude, the heart, but he's not smart and centered as he's best buddy Kunihide. The only thing they have in common which is mandatory for the job is the honesty and the will of changing things for the better.

    The movie has all the elements that makes us go to a movie theater. It has a storyline, it has action thriller, and it has a great performance from the cast, all of them.

    If you are planning to spend your money in another blockbuster, don't do it! Give a chance to this great movie that explores the WAR that we, from Japan, have to deal with everyday. It's not only about the fun you are going to have watching this peace of work but the truth you are going to see on it.

  3. Shield of Straw probably is Miike's most humane and ''deep''-film. After watching it you will think about it for hours.

    Does it place a mirror in front of our politically-correct pseudo-''good mind'' society and say : ''Look how absurd and self-righteous you are!'' Does it show us a true modern hero -Mirari ? One who stayed true to his principles when other were driven by greed and weakness? Does it examine the psychology of ''our money is everything'' mindset? Almost limitless food for thought. And that s what makes a film excellent. Not to mention the good as always story , acting , cinematography , soundtrack , etc. Some say Miike went mainstream with his film- wrong! Sorry for you-better watch Transformers then.

    After watching it you will think about it for hours. As always the master filmmaker knows how to grip the viewer and no letting loose. Unique , gripping , provocative…and good. Watching Miike ,known for his bizarre and brutal films, never felt so right. 8/10 Drama Miike-style.

  4. Being a fan of Miike flicks, I was rather looking forward to that one. The premise sounded rather intriguing: 120 million potential enemies and a handful of cops. 'Smoking Aces' came to mind, but if Miike directs it…

    I was rather surprised by the first half of the movie, it looked like it could really live up to my expectations. Unfortunately the second half goes places I did not expect – and the ending is, IMO, a total disaster.

    Seriously, the same man who directed cinematic awesomeness like '13 Assassins', 'Ichimei', 'Sukiyaki Western Django', 'IZO' and, heck, 'Zebraman' comes up with this? To be fair, he tried to place some emphasis on the characters and their motivations, but that want all sideways.

    At times the logic in this movies is beyond me, same goes for some decisions made by some of the characters. As well as those "coincidences" (like the one near the end where they find a car, who's driver is *wait for it* the father of the murder's first victim). Meh.

    While the last stand-off had real potential (may I direct your attention to the sword in the cane), it goes all mushy and does not fit the rest of the movie.

    All in all, I am rather disappointed by that one. I will, however, check out other of his movies, and see if that is just a one time glitch by the maestro or if he's losing it.

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