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[Review] Honnōji Hotel 本能寺ホテル the Movie

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When history meets cinema (and creates many discussions) we have works that take us back to the scenario of one of the most important battles in Japanese feudal history. Great historical figures played by leading Japanese actors and actresses.

Comedy inspired by an important historical event in Japan, released in 2017 directed by Masayuki Suzuki and written by Tomoko Aizawa.
Among its interpreters we find important actors and actresses, characters we are used to, who certainly will not go unnoticed by all those who passionately follow Japanese cinema.

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Mayuko Kuramoto visiting Kyoto discovers that the reservation she had made at the hotel was wrong and in the end she finds herself without accommodation. Wandering around Kyoto she finds a quaint historic hotel, built near the site of the Honnō-ji incident (Oda Nobunaga's "guided" suicide in 1582), which appears to have one room available.

Something unexpected happens while taking the elevator, she finds herself transported to the homonymous temple in feudal Japan. Despite the obvious bewilderment of being in an impossible place, during several similar journeys she finds herself making, she befriends Mr. Oda Nobunaga, a well-known but tragic historical figure. You will not go further into the plot so as not to reveal details or events that could make you lose your taste for seeing the film.

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Although the film has attracted strong interest in Japan, think that in the weekend alone I counted 167,000 spectators, it has received some discontent from critics due to "too many liberties" that the film has taken from a historical point of view.
Emphasizing the usual figure of the samurai who leads to the end of following one's Lord, not bending in the face of any event. The figure that is given of Nobunaga which would not reflect the one historically transmitted, has left some critics a little perplexed.

My impression, not having extensive knowledge of Japanese history, I found it very interesting. The settings are beautiful, they give us a glimpse of the era from the point of view of the lifestyle and what surrounds the characters of the film. The fight scenes are very beautiful, and leaves you thinking about what it could have been like at the time to be in the middle of an all-out war that was very different from the ones we are familiar with.

Let's move on to the protagonists of the film, of those who play the historical characters and the protagonists of the film. Haruka Hayase is beautiful, pass me this personal judgment. I see her well in her character, I like the way she plays her part and how her character grows thanks to the encounters she makes of her, an ultimately "radical" change in her way of presenting herself and seeing herself itself. The other 2 main characters of Nobunaga and Ranmaru Mori are very interesting. I know the actors, I've seen them in many dramas and I like them. For Nobunaga, admitting my ignorance about the real historical character, however, I expected a figure with more character, in manners and in appearance.

Beyond the historical "discord" that may have led some critics to turn up their noses, I found this film very interesting. Pleasant to look at, it's not too heavy and flows well although there is often a jump from one era to another.

I recommend watching it, to be able to immerse yourself in one of the most active and interesting periods in Japanese history.


Honnōji Hotel, Mauro Piacentini

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