The Movie "Bunraku" Analysis

Bunraku is type of puppet performance that is rather larger than usual puppets. These Japanese puppets are sometimes reaching life size taking at least three to four puppeteers to maneuver it.

Each of the puppeteers controls a certain part of the body of the puppets such as the legs, arms, and facial features. Puppeteers will usually wear black hoods to blend in but will sometimes leave the main puppeteer unhooded. Bunraku supposedly had started in the 16th century but soon became popular later in the 17th century. In the movie Bunraku, when scenes are transitioning to other characters in the plot, music beings to play intensening the moments just like in the actual puppeting in which the music lets the musicians be replaced for the next scene. The “Woodcutter” character in the movie was the main man that controlled nine killers relating to how in Bunraku it takes a certain amount of men to control the puppeteers in order to function. The 9 killers in Bunraku all happened to be men such as only men can perform as puppeteers in the Bunraku puppet performance.

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The female dolls in Bunraku were said to be more refined and detailed than the male showing in the movie how the ladies were held off in a room to put make up on with more appealing dress to them. The men however are said to have a bold solid look, like how Killer #2 had with his men all wearing red with no expressions on their face showing relentlessness. In order for Yoshi and the “Drifter” to defeat Nicola was by working together, such as how in Bunraku all the puppeteers have to work in unison to have a successful and well coordinated show or else the puppets would be all over the place. The background in the movie seems to look like origami in which they would first appear two dimensional then suddenly turn three dimensional once the scenes have changed. The bartender from the movie is like the main puppeteer because he is acknowledged for his part in helping out. The main puppeteer does not wear a hood so he is revealed but still assists the other puppeteers just like the bartender does not fight but gives Yoshi and the drifter advice on what to do.

During the performance of Bunraku puppets, the main puppeteer is also said to have a Zen expression on his face to not distract the crowd and from this I drew the conclusion that the reason why most of the characters had that Zen expression, such as the killers, was due to the simplicity of their job. In the movie, the killers move with sudden movements defeating their opponents with only one or two natural strikes to show how in Bunraku the puppets are made to look like real humans with a few movements. Every time an actor gets in the movie you can hear it by the sound of music similar to how in Bunraku music is incorporated to explain what is happening. Just like the narrator in the movie, Bunraku has chanters explaining throughout the scenes of what is going on due to the fact that the puppets cannot speak. In Bunraku, the angles in which the cameras go in show how detailed the art work goes such as the origami backgrounds.

The lightening seems rather dark throughout the movie making the storyline seem darker than it actually it is. The colors in the movie are very bold with hardly any brightness to them to give drama to the scenes. For example, like that of the Bunraku theater having to blend in the puppeteers that are hooded so they blend into the background and the more colorful ones stand out in the puppets. The dialogue in the movie is in a foreign language. It is shown as a subtitle just like they are in comic books drawing the conclusion that the storyline is part of an imperfect world in which nothing is normal about with characters having demonic sides to them such as Nicola.