Yes, it works! With Toshiro Mifune at his magnificent best it works remarkably well. Edmund Rostand's Cyrano was translated into Japanese early in its life. Consequently, it became a part of Japanese culture. That means that the more the Japanese sample and absorb from other cultures, the more fundamentally Japanese they become. Toshiro Mifune is totally original and compelling as the Cyrano character. No, his nose does not proceed him by a quarter hour, like Rostand's French original. In Japan, large noses are relatively flat and spread out across the face. This Cyrano writes haiku and duels in classic Samurai style. Mifune is scruffy, earthy and throroughly engaging. Some understandable liberties have been taken with Rostand's plot in order to make it consistent with Japanese culture. However, the climax remains absolutely consistent. It is as deeply felt and as moving as any Cyrano you will ever see. It is set in a a walled cherry orchard. As Mifune is dying, the cherry blossoms fall like snowflakes. Cyrano's dying words, "I fight on...", need no translation. For fans of Cyrano; or Toshiro Mifune; or Samurai films; or great romantic stories; or even if you've never particularly liked any of them, this is one you don't want to miss.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
Edmund Rostand's play Cyrano de Bergerac, transplanted to Japan. A poet-warrior with an oversized nose (matched only by his great heart) loves a lady. But she sees him only as a friend, so ...
November 27, 2020