Ghost Dog The Way Of The Samurai

Film: Ghost Dog The Way Of The Samurai
Release Date: 18th May 1999
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Rating: 15
Channel Four Films

The way of the samurai seems like the ideal way to live. I’ve seen a lot of samurai in fiction and they seem to live at peace and with great morals. Imagine if we lived like that today? Well Ghost Dog offers a taste on what a modern day samurai could be.

Ghost Dog to me is a rather strange film, I thought it was going to be boring as the standard gangster been whacked story by masterful hitman comes into play but it isn’t long before those thoughts fade away and the film shows something slightly surreal and strange, which is a good thing. The evil gangsters while being certainly pretty evil, also have strange quirks, my favourite being the obsession with watching cartoon shows and the assassin Ghost Dog turns out to be a rather nice guy with a French Ice Cream seller as his best friend. It doesn’t feel like the normal take on a serious moody gangster story and these little additions raise some smiles and everything has a personal touch.

Ghost Dog himself loves to read books and has become greatly fond of the Way OF The Samurai teachings. He respects his boss, lives largely in peace and does as he is told though with a gun rather than a sword. The little quotes from the book he reads provides some depth and insight into his way of doing things and everything comes together as one. I think the story can be a little predictable following the typical samurai story of survival, revenge and honour but it had to really if he was going to portray the story in a modern setting, it doesn’t make sense for the film to stray away from the samurai core points, a film set during the samurai times would be expected to mix things up. The modern setting does enough anyway and while I saw the ending coming from before I even watched the film, I enjoyed the curious little character touches, the chilled soundtrack and the blend of old and new.


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