‘The Legend & Butterfly’: A political romance gets a new twist

Keishi Otomo’s The Legend & Butterfly, shot to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Toei Studio, looks like some sort of big-budget Japanese historical drama that too often evokes adjectives like “boring” and “bulging.”

Based on a screenplay by Ryota Kosawa, however, the film ditches the usual explanatory narrative that evokes memories of soporific history classes – a daring choice for a mass audience epic that breaks through three decades in the complex lives of its two protagonists: warlord Oda Nobunaga (Takuya Kimura ) and his wife Nohime (Haruka Ayase).

Instead, it focuses on the couple’s relationship while passing by much that goes on around them, from clan wars to Nobunaga’s children through his various concubines. (Nohime was childless, although the film mentions a miscarriage.)

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