This article is a work in progress; It is currently not approved as canon.
Tragedy of the Great Plague is an Dystopian-style Drama film, which was released in YE 28. It tells a dramatised story about a fictional Epidemic, mostly resembling The Great Plague of YE 08 and playing in the same timeline, centred around three stories. It was produced by Magical Film Company, and distributed by Stardust Pictures. Unfortunately, it was the last film produced by Stardust president Migatho Yoshi, since he passed away in YE 29.
|Released||12 January YE 28|
|Content Rating||R, Violence, Scary Content, Nudity|
|Directed by||Carl Makron|
|Produced by||Migatho Yoshi & Gasha Makuti|
|Written by||Kori Magani|
|Story based on||“The Plague of 08” by Shiro Uesu|
|Starring||Shintaki Moke, Horothi Mana, Heruki Kawwa|
|Music by||Hansel Stammer|
|Costs||~120 million KS|
|Screen time||133 minutes|
|Production company||Magical Film Company|
|Distributed by||Stardust Pictures|
|Tagline||“The real tales of the Plague”|
The film is set upon the tales of three situations: the civilian family of Uemura, led by matriarch Tsugi(Moke), a military company led by Chusa Dewa Chiko(Mana), and the Senate of Yamatai, led by Emperor Ketsurui Uesu(Kawwa). The first two stories do not intertwine until the very last act of the film.
The year is YE 08. Yamatai has been fighting the First Elysian War on Planet Yamatai. Tsugi, mother of three children and a stay-at-home mother for her husband Rai (Mokiwa) who is in the army. Unknown to her, her life and that of many others on Yamatai are about to change. In a sudden strike, a virus spreads rapidly around Geshrinopolis and the rest of Yamatai. Tsugi sees multiple of her neighbours struck by the unknown virus. Rai is sent back to his family, but as he enters, he too is struck by the virus and collapses to the ground. She hears that the virus is an unknown biological weapon, presumably released by Elysian Celestial Empire, to wipe out Yamatai. She is forced to take refuge underneath her house with her children, to prevent for the virus to affect them too. Three days later, she hears a emergency call on television, which tells her to go to the nearest hospital to check out her children. As she leaves the house, she is faced with a horrific sight. Several field medics are seen trying to revive several victims of the virus. Severed limbs, infected wounds, and screams are heard around the city, as Tsugi tries to get her children to the hospital. There are several military regiments in the city, who are all trying to get the people through the city. When she gets to a military checkpoint, she is stopped by Shosa Tymo (Wikami). He tells her that the priority is with the diseased and injured, and that she cannot be let through at the moment. When more and more people start to pour in, Tsugi is faced with more horrors, as she sees injured women and children. The situation escalates when Tymo closes down the checkpoint and denies passage. A hoard of people storm the building and try to get trough. Tsugi is caught in the chaos, and she looses her youngest daughter in the crowd. Devastated, she falls to the ground and screams. Then it gets worse, as two water sprouts open up on the crowd and try to get them back. The fighting stops, however, with the arrival of Chiko, who tells Tymo to stop. He sees Tsugi, and lets her through. From there, the two stories connect.
The second story revolves around Chusa Chiko. He is on assignment on Planet Yamatai far away from Geshrinopolis, when disaster strikes, and he looses a large part of his company. As he is called back to Geshrinopolis, he is ambushed by even more Elysians. As his few remaining troopers defeat them, they flee to Geshrinopolis. They travel for nearly three days, as they were displaced by the Elysian ambush, but they encounter no others. As they approach the city, they see fire and smoke rising from the skyscrapers, and the streets are littered with dead bodies. Chiko sees an disturbing event, as two soldiers are seen shooting diseased civilians. Chiko tries to intervene, but he is halted by Chujo Makare(Idona), who orders him to get to the military headquarters for further instructions. Chiko is forced to follow orders, and proceeds to the heart of Geshrinopolis. On the way, he sees even more people killed or injured by the virus, and he hears an emergency broadcast on the speakers around the city. He decides, against the advice of his few fellow soldiers, to deny orders, and to proceed to the hospital. He passes multiple checkpoints, who are trying to keep the people out. Despite Chiko's best efforts, the soldiers offer little help to the injured people at the checkpoints. He finally reaches a checkpoint that is flooding with refugees, and just as he passes by, the people storm the gates. Chiko rushes to the checkpoint, just as it opens fire on the crowd. Chiko is horrified by the sight, and he orders the soldiers to stop it. As they see a superior officer before them, they stop the water sprouts, but the people are left dripping of to the safety of their home. Chiko soon sees a single child standing in the crowd, crying for her mother. He decides to pick her up, and call for her mother. Soon, the crowd is dispersing, and Chiko lays eyes upon Tsugi. The girl recognises her, and so he returns her to Tsugi. The woman thanks Chiko. Then, he walks to Tymo, and decides to pin him against the wall. Chiko returns to Tsugi, and they walk together to the hospital. Once they arrive their, it appears that the girl to, has been infected. Tsugi begs for Chiko to find a doctor, but even as they try to safe the girl, it is already to late. The girl passes, and Tsugi is struck with grief. Chiko is once again called by his commander. Although it pains him, he decides to ignore the call of his commander, which causes him to loose his rank and job. This is the last that is seen of him and Tsugi.
One day after the virus arose, the Yamatai Emperor is found dead in his chambers. Ketsurui Uesu, brother of Yui and Yuumi, is supposed to take the throne. In the turbulent times of the virus, he has to keep the populace safe, but he is faced with the troubles of the Senate of Yamatai. As more and more people are found dead in the streets, or simply to injured to continue, Uesu is forced to impede martial law, putting Geshrinopolis on lock-down. Several of his own staff suffer from the effects of the virus, and Uesu calls it a new Plague. As the military takes over control of the city, Uesu is left with the terrible views of the people, killed by the virus or left rotting in the streets. Uesu, in fear of his life, determines to go outside and try to help the people, but he is stopped by the military leaders. Later on, Uesu has been informed that the military has decided to retaliate against Elysian Celestial Empire, by bombing the floating cities above Planet Yamatai. Uesu watches, as a large fleet is sent to the Elysian cities, and proceed to wipe out the large majority of the Elysians. Uesu watches the event in anguish, uncertain as what to make of the whole plague. Later, he is seen staring out his window, contemplating the tragic event.
An epilogue plays several clips of an older Uesu, who re-captivates on the events of The Great Plague of YE 08. Other clips are seen, showing the two other children of Tsugi, who survived the plague and both became Medical Researchers. Tsugi is revealed to have died of severe traumatic experiences in YE 10, and Chiko received an honorary award from Emperor Uesu in YE 18, for services rendered.
Cast (In credits order)
Crew (In credits order)
Below is the information for the development and production of this film.
A story surrounding the tragical events surrounding The Great Plague of YE 08 had been in the works since at least YE 21. A treatment for the screenplay was gathered from Shiro Uesu, a lone survivor of the Plague, who had written his stories down in his personal biography “The Plague of 08”. The book revolved around Uesu's personal journey in Geshrinopolis, where he lost his brother and sisters, along with his nephews. Uesu had been part of a small military regiment that was to deal with the aftermath of the outbreak, and subsequently protect the survivors against Elysian attacks. Long time director Carl Makron was intrigued by the book, and subsequently wanted permission to treat the book into a film. Gasha Makuti, owner of Magical Film Company, placed a stake in producing the film, and eventually it was granted. Stardust Pictures, with whom Yoki had worked before, who provide the distribution, while its effects company Temple Sound & Effects would provide sound and visual effects.
A second treatment was written by renowned screenplay writer Kori Magani. This treatment resembled in most way the original story of Uesu, but several important aspects surrounding the plague's historical use were reworked for dramatic experience. A third treatment from Magani, which featured an additional story for Ketsurui Uesu, was used as the screenplay, with minimal adjustments from Yoki and Makuti. Production was finally greenlit in YE 24, but the destruction of Geshrinopolis would postpone the completion of the project to late YE 27.
Principal Photography began in november YE 24 in Geshrinopolis, where multiple sets were built to resemble the city in YE 08. The opening scenes for the first outbreak were accomplished using over 1,400 extras and nearly 3,000 crew members. The three stories were filmed mostly in order, the first revolving around Uemura. The story for Emperor Uesu were filmed using the interior of the old Palace in Geshrinopolis, but with the destruction YE 27, filming was moved to the story of Chiko, which was filmed around Planet Yamatai, mostly in the vicinity of Uesureyan Fields. Filming was interrupted for most of YE 26, but was resumed in early YE 27, when the newly opened Empress' Palace was used for the remainder of Emperor Uesu's scenes, including the epilogue. Scenes for the hospitals were filmed in a closed section of Kyoto General Hospital, Kyoto. Shooting was wrapped in late August of YE 27. Filming was done using mostly Yukosfilm's 35mm HydroScope, but to achieve a greater focus and grained look, the protective lenses were removed, which made the camera's loose their autofocus. There was also limited use of Tracking shot.
After shooting was done, several more shots were accomplished by the Second Unit, mostly involving wide shots of Geshrinopolis, and close-ups of victims. Sound Design was put in place first, involving mostly the violent sounds of victims and the chaotic scene at the checkpoint. Furthermore, more than 500 simulations were used to contemplate the on-screen performance of the actors, mostly surrounding the scenes at the hospital. Sound Mixing was used to allow for multiple 'victims', both of and on screen, to be heard simultaneously . Visual effects were later used to enhance the special effects on the screen, mostly 'cleaning up' victim wounds, smoke and fire effects for Geshrinopolis, and the floating cities of Elysian Celestial Empire. The final scene of the bombing of the floating cities involved more than 1500 mechanical models on set, which were later enhanced using CGI. The Visual Effects departments also used a particular technique to lower the colour scheme of the film, mostly by enhancing the grey-spectre of the footage.
The musical soundtrack for the film was written and conducted by renowned composer Hansel Stammer, who had a astonishing time of merely two months to write the score, due to Geshrinopolis' destruction. The score was performed by the Imperial Honours Orchestra & Choir, and recorded at the newly opened (in YE 27) Empress' Opera House in Kyoto. The score mostly involves a collection of String and Woodwind music, mostly to invoke a sense of hopelessness and compassion. Most scenes involving the gruel events on the streets also involve use of Distorted instrumental music, meant to show the unease of the situation.
The critic's responses and box office success to the film can be found below.
In its opening week, the film became the quickest earning film of YE 28, grossing over 250 million KS in its first month. It regained its budget of ~120 million KS within two weeks. With that, it became the 4th fastest earning movie of all time, and still remains the 5th best grossed film as of YE 38. At the end of its theatrical run in March YE 28, it had earned a staggering 1.4 billion KS. Its home release led the overall domestic gross to 6.12 billion KS. Despite its R rating, and therefore lack of younger audiences, it has received the status of All-round hit, sometimes even used in historical displays of The Great Plague of YE 08.
The movie received overall praise by most film critics. Yamatai Galactic Reviews rated the movie an 98/100, claiming: “The gruesome yet true-like tales of the Great Plague is a message to use all, not to let it happen again.” Renowned critic Meroti Hagashimi of Entertainment Journal rated it an perfect 5 out of 5 stars, praising the “No-nonsense telling style of Carl Makron, and the truly tragical stories that should impact on us all.” Ari Takeru of Kyoto Times rated 95/100, praising mostly “The compelling score, the vivid writing of Kori Magani, and the brilliant acting work.”
The film was not without critique, however. In the time that Yamatai was at large unknown of the PNUgen Corporation evil plot, the film received acclaim of its historical portrayal of 'Elysian's justfull demise'. However, since YE 29 and the reveal of PNUgen Corporation, the film received sneers for its uncorrect portrayal of Emperor Uesu, who was accused of the plague shortly after. Another critical point was the untrue portrayal of the plague's conditions. Contrary to the real Plague, there were no violent or cruel symptoms of the virus, and the populations was killed right of. Furthermore, no cure was available at the time, and as such, medical aid was useless in the situation. In one such instance, renowned critic Naki Yumia, rated the film 2 out of 5 stars, saying “The actual tragic events are done away for the sensation of gore and blood.”
The film was nominated for a total of 7 Golden Lotus Awards, and won in all categories. It won the award for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Leading Actress for Moke, which was her second award, Best Original Screenplay, Kori's third award, Best Original Score, Hansel's fourth award, Best Make-up, Sarah's fifth award, and Best Production Design, Yoshi fourth and final award.
Director Carl Makron received an Imperial Honour Award in YE 30 for this and his other films. Another Imperial Honour Award, the Empress Honorary Award, was handed out in YE 36, preserving it for “Historical quality and quality story-telling”. Furthermore, Tikato Mo also received an Imperial Honour Award, alongside fellow Sound Mixer Frank Jonas, for this and other films.
Along with 7 Golden Lotus Awards and three Imperial Honour Awards, the film has also received the title of “Best Historical Film” from Kyoto Times, “Best Historical Drama” from Galactic Entertainment Weekly, and it is listed 6th at the list of “Best Films of All Time” from the Yamatai National Film Institute.
Yoerik created this article on 2017/06/01 01:19. This article was inspired from a mix of “Children of Men” and “12 Monkeys”. All credits go to Alfonso Cuarón, Terry Gilliam, and Universal Pictures. Also, the tracking shot came from Atonement, credits to Joe Wright.