After the forced suicide of Nobunaga Oda at the Incident at Honnō-ji, powerful figures Katsuie Shibata, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Nagahide Niwa and Tsuneoki Ikeda meet to decide on a successor. The conference would become Japan's first group made political decision. The meeting was known as the Kiyosu Kaigi. ~~ Based on the novel "Kiyosu Kaigi" by Koki Mitani. Add Synopsis In Portuguese
Cast & Credits
Kiyosu Kaigi depicts the power struggle after the death of Oda Nobunaga - the first feudal lord that attempted to unite Japan. Upon his sudden death, two of his most powerful retainers Shibata Katsuie and Saru Hideyoshi started a cold yet an exciting war by siding with one of Nobunaga’s legitimate successors. Until this far, the film may seem like another political clashing plot about the Sengoku period. At the matter of fact, it’s absolutely is! Kiyosu Kaigi is all about the power struggle to reach the top of Japan with each character having its own agenda and secret motives to proceed with. However, that’s not what this film is all about.
In the midst of such a complicated plot within the most serious time of Japanese history; this film takes the comedy turn. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong; this film was overwhelming with hilarious sense of humour to make it lighter and even more enjoyable. You get to see prestigious daimyo lords fighting and wrestling like little children. You also get to witness a candidate successor act like an adorable dork. All of that was mixed with many funny dialogues and “hugs” between famous lords. A history lover as myself never imagined to see those amazing generals acting so silly. But all of that use of humour didn’t drift the film from its original purpose.
The director was able to portray the message he made this film for. Amongst all of those laughing and political struggles, the film managed to deliver an interesting take about Japan in those ancient times. It was quite fascinating to watch the flowing of each event, each character and each hint until it reaches a very stimulating ending. The comic relief and the partial use of parodies was only a way to prevent this film from becoming heavy. It also participates in keeping the somewhat long ride (almost two hours and a half) amusing.
Now the acting; Kiyosu Kaigi is star studded, starting with the veteran and the acknowledged Yakusho Koji; you’re bound to expect a wonderful acting level. Then comes Oizumi Yo with a marvellous performance as Saru (The Monkey). His character was really monkey-like at many turns but his inner philosophy and beliefs still managed to shine in times of need. As if Yakusho and Oizumi weren’t enough to keep this film standing tall; they were supported by other enormous acting talents. All you have to do is entertain your eyes with stunning acting performances from the penetrating Asano, the veteran existence of Kohinata Fumiyo, Sato Koichi, Terajima Susumu and Denden with the young talents of Tsumabuki, Matsuyama and Iseya until you reach the very intriguing female department mainly composed of Nakatani and Suzuki.
The characters were complicated, each of them possessed its own perspective and they would do anything to defend it. The relationships between them were even more complex than the characters themselves. You can always sense that something is going to happen any second due to the tension between most of them.
The directing was pretty darn good! The camera angles, the cinematography and especially the scenery were very involving and beautiful-looking.
-You like historical/samurai Japanese films.
-You like to watch a different type of periodic films.
-You like comedy mixed with serious telling.
Do not watch if:
-You’re not interested in historical Japanese film.
Kiyosu Kaigi is a different type of historical pieces. It manages to make a sombre and difficult historical telling sound so pleasant by throwing pits of comedy relief on the sides.
If you're not familiar with history, you might be a bit lost at the beginning. Plus there were also couple of events skipped (just explained through quick dialogues) for the sake of time. The writer also assumed that viewer already understood the characters background and their relationship prior to the "Conference". Therefore, a little basic knowledge would be helpful if you want to watch this.
We know the plot. We know who will get the power at the end. So, what is the highlight of this movie?
Yes, the acting!! and how the actors portrayed their given roles are what making this movie a worth watch! Even Gouriki Ayame did an amazing job despite her short character appearance on screen. Let alone the other seasoned actors especially the outstanding Saru performance by Oizumi Yo and the "just right" portrayal of Shibata by Yakusho Koji.
The comedy was light but not the type that will make you ROFL. Rather was more on tension relief and to make the otherwise boring characters appeal more to the audience.
On the downside, The Kiyosu Conference was poorly CGI-ed. Some of the Kiyosu Castle building felt so fake and looked obviously done just recently (at time of filming). However, I must say that the wardrobe department did a good job in this so it kind of balanced out what it was lacking. The music was okay but nothing spectacular except for the final song during the ending credit.