The novel “Shogun” (1975) by James Clavell, is a well-told drama about Japan transformed into a playground of political figures and influence.. Something that carried over to a certain extent into the miniseries adaptation in 1980. However, this version put a little more emphasis on it. in the idea of ​​a romance between a British adventurer (Richard Chamberlain) and a mysterious lady (Yoko Shimada).

And all this in a sweetened story with a tragic undertone, which to a certain extent departed from the original. Especially when screenwriter Eric Bercovici seemed more interested in thinking about ethnic differences in romantic relationships. It took him very far away from what was going on between the real tensions that were driving the plot.

The Disney+ adaptation of the novel corrects many previous mistakes. But it also does something else. Convert to Shogun Clavell, in a solid story that explores both its characters and the specific period in which it is set. The resulting ten-part miniseries is a journey back to a time when questions were asked about how honor, loyalty and love could change the course of a country.

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Shogun is a complete adaptation of the original novel by James Clavell, detailing 17th century Japan. This detailed, high-quality historical drama explores characters and politics in detail across ten chapters, as well as the famous romance between an Englishman and a Japanese woman. However, he gets bored at times due to over-explaining the exotic context.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thanks to a script that carefully details the forces and conflicts involved in the dispute, Shogun He is intelligent in the way he lays out his premise. Namely: as an English adventurer, he arrives in Japan in the midst of a mythology and a type of power unknown in the West.

As the 17th century passed, the differences between a plague-ravaged Europe and a placid, imperial Japan became apparent. Unlike the previous version, the new Shogun more accurately analyzes the historical context associated with the scenario. John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) is much younger than Chamberlain at the time of filming of the 1980 series (turned into film).

As such, his character is more physical, athletic, and more focused on the idea of ​​a man looking for a place to call his own. While this idea may seem corny or sugarcoated, the script by Shannon Goss, Rachel Condo, Matt Lambert and Justin Marks cleverly puts a more practical spin on it. This young man, without a fortune but with a desire to earn it, could cross the world out of pure ambition. And that’s exactly what he’ll try to achieve when a shipwreck takes him straight into the waters of unknown territory, where his agile mind could become a treasure.

Confrontation between two cultures

If something was missed in the first adaptation Shogunwas meant to show Japan as an almost mythological world. This is a point that Clavell’s novel insists on and which the new adaptation takes into account. Directed by Justin Marks and Rachel Condo, it imagines a country where the tale may well be based on superstition and miracles. Japan Shogun, these are green meadows and a constant feeling that nothing is like the rough and cruel world of Blackthorn. In the first two chapters This feeling is achieved through the artistic use of landscapes and the camera as an explorer between the bamboo and linen structures.

But this is, without a doubt, the hero’s meeting with Lord Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada, from High-speed train And Mortal Kombat), which will set the pace of the story. A feudal ruler is facing a head-on confrontation with several of his powerful enemies. The arrival of the British will be a milestone that anyone can take advantage of. Both have the same sense of power, a very similar vision of the disputed territory – geographical and spiritual.. And although the Englishman takes a harsher view of power – how it is used and how it is taken – the two men come to an understanding.

While this is happening, the series takes the time to explore each other’s personalities. The form, like the West, is more courageous and unbelieving in confronting enemies in battle. But in Japan this translates into a strategy in which intangibles also play an important role.

A well told love story

But Shogun This is more than politics. At the same time, it is a love story between two tragic lovers. Only this time, Lady Mariko (Anna Sawai) is more than just a disgraced damsel. Having some similarities with Mulan from Disney – in a more aggressive and violent version – the character moves away from fragility to become a force of nature. The change—compared to the novel and the 1980 American version—doesn’t always seem logical. Especially when her skills as a warrior are not fully explained and adequate context is not given for what sets her apart from other women of her time.

Despite this, the figure becomes important to understanding part of the story. Especially when the most complex Japanese customs need a simple explanation for the layman. Serving as a bridge between two cultures, Lady Mariko is smart and well-built, although she is not an object of desire.

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Despite some rough edges – the ten-episode series has a lot to say and time to do it, although it’s not always put to good use –Shogun This is a faithful adaptation. It is also a work independent of those already known, and a story full of energy that is good at using cultural context to inform its storytelling. Which makes this of courseA favorite among fans of the genre or die-hard fans of the novel from which it is taken.

Source: Hiper Textual

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