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Moments - 08 - The Last Samurai (I will miss our conversations)

I belong to the warrior, in who the old ways have joined the new.

By BoblobV2Published 3 years ago 3 min read

The Last Samurai is a film that has stuck with me since its release. There was a meditative nature to the film where we follow the protagonist during his time in Japan at the turn of the century. Starting as a former soldier suffering from PTSD in the United State's, to moving to Japan to train infantryman, till finally he is held captive by the samurai over the winter. Seeing his change and the relationship that he develops with the leader of the samurai is quite fascinating. Thus the moment that stood out to me the most is the culmination of this relationship at the finale of the film.

Their first interaction was filled with distrust, and the two were prodding gently to see where the lines were. Each making it clear on what their intentions are. Matsumoto, the leader of the samurai, to learn about the enemy. Nathan, the protagonist, to endure. What we soon realize is that while Nathan is a captive he is by no means a prisoner, if anything he is a heavily monitored guest. Matsumoto goes so far as to set up what Nathan is here for are conversations. While the initial interaction between the two men were brief, Nathan takes the time to take in and admire the culture that he is surrounded by. As is, by this time, quite consistent with his character immersing himself in what is foreign to understand and integrate. To find the peace within.

Through their following interactions they become more cordial with each other. So much so to the point that they look at each other as friends rather than a captor and a captive. Nathan fully embraced the culture and found peace within himself as a result. This friendship was only solidified when assassins attacked the village and the two fought alongside each other to drive the attackers off. Once this is done they continue to have conversations with each other till Nathan travels with Matsumoto to the capital where he would be free.

At this point in the narrative, Nathan comes to a crossroads in his journey. Either he let's the council kill Matsumoto in his home, or embrace who he has become over the past few months and save the friend that he had made. He chooses the latter and helps Matsumoto escape. From here they plan for their final stand as they continue their friendly conversations, talking about history and the like. At times related to strategy and others related to each other's character. All building up to the finale of the film. Though prior to the battle he is gifted a katana that was made specifically for him, visually telling us that he is now one of them.

The battle itself is grand in its scale yet devastating to all involved. The samurai were barely able to come out the victors in the initial exchange despite their superior tactics. With nothing left they ride out to the field together. For one last charge accepting their fates. It is following the final confrontation when it is only a heavily wounded Nathan and Matsumoto have one last conversation as they come to terms with the fact that this is Matsumoto's last moment. We get Nathan admitting he will miss their conversations, bringing this friendship to its conclusion. The context behind their bond is what makes this moment so memorable.

The relationship between the two characters in this film is a great example of having characters influence each other, and change accordingly in a fluid and organic manner. All while having payoffs to moments that are earned through meticulous attention to detail and a lot of effort.


About the Creator


Writing about anime, and anything else I find interesting.

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