Movie Review - Der Samurai
Writer-director Tim Kleinert (Boys Village, Cowboy) returns with his intriguing horror-fantasy drama, Der Samurai. Der Samurai is one of those special films that manage to seamlessly blend several genres, but also pays respect to the stylistic and narrative elements of each one. There’s definitely something special here and Kleinhert’s signature style enhances what is certainly an artsy and surreal film.
Jakob, a soft and gentle soul, is caught in a perpetual state of loneliness. He works as a police officer in a small town, and his main task appears to be keeping a wayward wolf from knocking over trashcans. It’s clear from the exposition of the film that Jakob is a deeply unhappy person and is subject to harassment and lack of respect from his fellow officers and the local thugs. One evening, a samurai sword is delivered to his home and he inexplicably finds the owner—a transvestite clothed in a white dress who has an enigmatic and haunting personality.
This movie swings easily between ideas and genre-tropes. At one point the movie seems to be a psychological drama as audiences begin to question if the murderous transvestite is real. The movie dips into the realm of a classic revenge story, before settling into a fairytale-like and dreamy reality as Jakob and Der Samurai appear to fall into an easy peace with a sensual dance around the burning bodies of his enemies
And yet, Kleinert, moves away from this resolution and pushes his audience into an even deeper layer of the story. Der Samurai is completely original and can be read as a metaphor for a man struggling with his sexuality, a man coming to terms with his animalistic urges, or as a macabre coming-of-age story about someone deciding to become an active participant in his life. Either way the man that battles Der Samurai during the climax is not the same lost soul audiences meet in the beginning of the film.
This is a movie that lends, actually begs itself to be interpreted. It’s easy to like this film and it’s just as easily to dismiss it. One can argue this is not a horror film or even a psychological thriller… but the one thing it’s not is boring. The film is available for purchase on DVD beginning June 9th at Artsploitation Films.
- T.C. McKeever