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Multi-talented filmmaker Takeshi 'Beat' Kitano takes a break from the violent gangster films which made his name outside Japan to deliver this story of the friendship between a small boy and a washed-up yakusa. When young Masao (Yusuke Sekiguchi) discovers a picture of his long-lost mother at his grandmother's house, he decides to leave the city and go in search of her. Travelling with the lazy, small-time gangster Kikujuro (Kitano), Masao's journey gets off to a bad start when the pair lose all their money at the racetrack and are forced to continue on foot. As their journey develops, and as they reach their final destination, the pair begin to appreciate that the most important thing about their quest has been the time they spent together.
Brand new digital restoration
Jam Session 90 minute documentary on Kikujiro directed by the award-winning Japanese director Makoto Shinozaki
2.0 Surround Sound
Anamorphic widescreen with removable subtitles
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Kitano can't resist including some violence, but it either happens off screen or in the distance. And in any case this is a film about the male experience, both in actual childhood and in child-like behaviour by adult males.
It would be easy to criticise the film from a feminist standpoint (blaming mothers for all life's ills) but best to suspend all that and simply enjoy the truth and humour that make for a warm, humane movie.
All this and a beautiful score which sounds like the music to a Tom Waits song, (yes really!), make this an indelible experience.
When a road movie such as this one reaches the destination, adding anything else to the end would feel like it was bolted on, and leaves a bitter taste. I was worried that, with around a third of the film to go, I'd end up growing tired of it. But it's actually the final act which makes this film so damn good. You'll laugh, cry and forget all about your problems as Kitano masterfully ties up the film.
Honestly, I've never heard my parents laugh so much at a film, so the subtitles were clearly not a barrier for them.
It's definately up there with the best of the Kitano filmography, but it could also be one of the best Japanese movies I'll ever see.
I really liked the humor and the high sensitivity of the film. It is about life generally with its deceptions and happy moments. It is about how to accept things that you can not change (when the young boy discovers that his mother he was desperately looking for has her own separate life with husband and daughter). It is about friendship, holding together, humanity.
The only small critic, a few scenes were a little bit too long for my taste, but the whole rythm of the movie is generally rather slow compared to the films most of us are used to watch -> nothing for action freaks! This film is a bit droll, unusual and unique. Of course, it is no movie for the mainstream but something very special. I guess I will watch it again and again. Anyway, I highly recommend it to anybody who likes this kind of movies.
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