In the beginning of Vengeance, there is a key scene of the film's main character. He is unrinating, in order to wash his hands off the blood of his victim. He then notices he's under a tree, wipes his hands with his jacket and picks an apple. He takes a bite and spits.
However, the point -we understand as the story unfolds engrossingly to contain many other characters in similarly true moments- is in fact to lay bare the human soul.
Immamura achieves very successfuly this main objective, through his immense storytelling powers: the over the top performances he pulls from his superb cast and his brilliant melding of the many subplots.(The editing here, in my opinion, is one the best works ever done in a movie.)
In a little over two hours, Vengeance speaks volumes about the many complexities of the human soul and offers many opportunities to confront its dark side. Thus, it is not an easy movie to watch. Yet it offers many insights to the Japanese culture, and is a great point to start knowing the Japanese cinema as well. Highly recommended.