I am probably going to review this movie at length in a few days. It is worth to look into some cultural elements. Here, as a starter, 10 reasons why you should watch Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.
- Highly original. Really not your everyday material.
- It is not sufficiently known or almost forgotten.
- POW movie that is by many people believed to be better than Bridge on the River Kwai.
- The main title, Forbidden colors, is very haunting (there are two versions, the instrumental one by Ryuichi Sakamoto and the vocal one by Sakamoto and David Sylvian).
- Beautifully filmed.
- Japanese culture and esthetics (Samurai, hara-kiri, honor, belief in demons and what not).
- Not your average war movie theme. Captain Yonoi is tragically attracted to Maj Celliers.
- Nagisha Oshima has directed it (he is famous for his very sensuous and erotic movies, albeit bordering the sadomasochistic. Undertones are clearly present here.)
- Great acting. Not only by the two singers Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Bowie but also by Tom Conti and Takeshi Kitano.
- Very impressive. Once you have seen it, you will never forget it.