There have been many depictions of restoration hero Ryoma Sakamoto throughout the years, but I was particularly looking forward to seeing Daisuke Ito's version of his story in Bakamatsu (The Ambitious 1970) since it is a dramatization of Ryotaro Shibata's novelization of his life story. I have just finished reading a historical book on Sakamoto and the restoration that was a bit hard to follow with all the alliances between clans and significant names thrown out in the story of the struggle for restoration. This film does a good job of creating a narrative of Sakamoto's development as a social and political thinker that helped promote the concept of restoration of the emperor and the end of the shogunate. I am somewhat suspect of the choice of Kinnosuke Nakamura (known for his roles in samurai films) as Sakamoto, but he was also billed as producer. He seems less of an accomplished actor as Tatsya Nakadai who plays his restoration compatriot Shintaro Nakaoka. Toshiro Mifune has a small bu significant role as Shijiro Goto. The film ventures into farce during the two assassination scenes the first in which Sakamoto escaped was expanded in an expletive fashion with Sakamoto killing and maiming dozens of would be assassins. The final scene in which Sakamotot and Nakaoka are killed is milked for melodrama as they expire in a dramatic and lengthy fashion that betrays any of the realism that was employed in the film. But to sum it up, the film does a fairly credible job of telling the story of one of Jpaan's favorite restoration heroes who was fighting for the abolition of the shogunate system and hoping for a more democratic one that would repel potential colonizers while giving more rights to the common people of Japan.