Mac Arthur Versus the Emperor

MacArthur signs Japanese surrender instrument ...

MacArthur signs Japanese surrender instrument aboard USS Missouri. Generals Wainwright and Percival stand behind him. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The Emperor” turned into a surprisingly good historical story. I know that today’s youth hate anything historical, but for an old guy like myself it is entertaining because I lived through the period. Tommy Lee Jones plays General Douglas Mac Arthur as Mac begins to rebuild Japan after the atomic-bombs forced Japan to surrender. Before Mac Arthur can do any positive rebuilding, he must first bring Japan’s war criminals to justice. One of his big concerns is whether the Emperor, who is god to his subjects,  started, or made decisions in the conduct of the war.

Mac Arthur relies on General Bonner Fellers, an officer who is expert on Japan affairs and who speaks the language, and knows the culture. General Fellers, played very well by Matthew Fox, went to school with a Japanese girl in the States and then followed her back to Japan before the war began. Therein lies a sub-plot between the girl and the officer.

The story gets into the culture of Japan and the blind loyalty of the people to the Emperor. It is this loyalty that makes Fellers job to discern the truth about the emperor impossible. General Fellers finally submits a report which Mac Arthur finds useless. Mac must decide the Emperors guilt based an Fellers’ opinion, and not on the facts of the case.

Tommy Lee plays a great MacArthur, and Matthew Fox portrays General Fellers well.

The film went  by so fast I felt we were in the theater for only fifteen minutes.

This is a great story with good acting, and direction. There is a glimpse of the destruction brought on by the atomic bomb, but nothing unbearable. The sub-story of the love affair between the officer and his Japanese girlfriend made the story that  much more interesting.

What disappointed me was the lack of people who attended this showing. I guess this story appealed to an old fart like me because it occurred when I was seven years old.

I found this film well worth the time spent from those precious minutes I still have remaining on this earth.

English: Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthu...

English: Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthur, at their first meeting, at the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, 27 September, 1945 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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