The brilliance of Harakiri is unassuming. Scene by scene, moment by moment, it only slowly begins to feel like the masterpiece that it is. It is only once we have seen the whole of the film that we realise what a truly brilliant piece of work it is, with every single part interlocking in perfect tandem. The wonderful, intricate screenplay which never loses the viewer’s comprehension. The staggering, astounding cinematography (the blu-ray that I watched looked simply orgasmic). The powerful commanding performances. And finally, the excellently choreographed bursts of action towards the end, done with real swords to get the right sense of movement from the actors. One of the best Japanese films ever, from a country already overflowing with great filmmakers.