A warlord in the 19th-century Japan gave up his authority and anoint his eldest son of three to be the new lord. This resulted in a bloody 3-way fight for power. The youngest son was banished because he was against the idea. The 2nd son was a true politician, pretending to go along with the decision, ended up killing his eldest brother and took over his conniving wife, whose had her head cut off after making her avenge. The old lord finally went crazy but was later saved by his youngest son, who loved him the most. The youngest son, on his triumphant return, was assassinated by the 2nd brother’s assassins. In the end, all three sons died and the old man survived with his light turned off.
The movie was fit for an on-stage drama. The acting of the elder warlord was simply amazing. The war scenes with infantry and horse-back riders mixed with gun, arrows was very interesting. The war strategy, taking Sun-tzu’s art of war to an art form, was pretty advance too.
The lessons learned are 1) don’t give up power until you’re convinced the people who inherit the power are well respected and would not abuse the power and you’re well protected away from power, 2) what goes around, comes around. You may end up eating the fruits of your own. 3) Listen to why people object to your ideas. They may mean the best for you and love you the most. 4) Re-pay people’s loyalty with kindness. They may have more choices than you think when they chose to stick with you. Very good movie, indeed.