|Starring:||'Beat' Takeshi Kitano|
|Director:||'Beat' Takeshi Kitano|
|Run time:||1 hour 40 minutes|
|Rental release:||26 Sep 2005|
Most helpful review
Kitano does cute and funny!By a customer from Stowmarket, England , 20 Sep 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]Well I expect if you're looking up this film you know what kind of films Kitano does, violent yakuza gangster and cop ones. Recently though he has produced four wonderful and different films. Firstly Hana-Bi was a sort of crossover with a yakuza/cop plot but it is more reflective with a subplot that was emotional in both a sweet and sad way. Then came Kikujiro (followed by Dolls and Zatoichi).
Kikujiro was the first film of his that I saw, when I bought it 'pot-luck' on VHS a few years ago. I loved it immediately and also Kitano, he has such a fascinating face and manner. So this is the film that introduced me to Kitano and made me want to see his other work.
Kitano plays Kikujiro a small time gangster who is a bit of a looser hang-about, who by chance meets this young boy. The boy is living with relatives (an aunt or grandmother) in the city whilst his mother is away living somewhere else. When the summer holidays come he wants to go and see her but is forbidden to do so. He however is determined and so sets off by himself to try and find her. He doesn't go far before he meets Kikujiro, who is forcefully persuaded by his lady friend to accompany the boy because he can't go by himself. Kikujiro is given to gamboling so at first he tries to make money from the boy?s allowance. But eventually, when they have no money left because he?s lost it all, he takes him under his dubious wing and they set off. Here ensues an unusual little road-trip movie between the unlikeliest couple.
This film is largely done from the boy's point of view, though it isn't in any way annoyingly childish. You see the events through his innocence, confusion and enjoyment of all the new, crazy and funny things that happen to them. There are some scary and sad moments for him, but mostly he has a wonderful time with his unusual guardian and they form a firm friendship. They get into all sorts of trouble and mischief but mostly they have great fun together, and it turns into a real adventure for both of them. They meet all sorts of strange and interesting road characters who are persuaded by Kikujiro to help with entertaining the boy and making games for him. In particular there are two hilarious bikers, who are equally the boy?s unlikely entertainers and throw themselves into this unusual task with great abandon!
Overall it feels like this is the best summer the boy (and by extension we also) could have ever had. Like Hana-Bi the film includes some of Kitano's original artwork, drawings and descriptions from the boy's diary of the summer are used to introduce or conclude sections of the film. This really is a wonderful film, which is equally sweet and hilarious, and I?m glad to see now available on DVD.
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Friendly BeatBy a customer , 20 Nov 2013There are so many great Beat Takeshi films but this is one of the best. Really funny in places and like most of Beats films - very little dialogue. This is the director at his friendliest (not the usual violent films he is known for). If you liked Hana-Bi then this one is for you.
Sometimes funnyBy famaf (13 reviews) , 21 Jul 2013
[Highly rated reviewer]An interesting and charming film, even if Kikujiro manages to continue to be an ar5ehole from start to finish. No great character epiphanies for our star. Otherwise some funny moments, a reasonable amount of plot underscored by a thread of humanity and a couple of memorable supporting characters. The film does seem to have some sort of mental breakdown in the final extraneous 40 minutes, but not in an offensive way.
Dragged out end in otherwise very warming filmBy TheBigC (6 reviews) from Bournemouth , 28 Nov 2011Brilliant and heart felt. Its quirky funny and saddening at the same time. The Japanese style of film is very different to typical american, but if you allow for this; then it will worth it. I wasn't too sure the ending deserved to be dragged so far past the climatical moment. But despite this, still very good. And the soundtrack is literally awesome!
Really bad acting, agressive behaviour, and terribly slow.By JuiceOfLife (27 reviews) , 29 Jul 2011I felt no sympathy with the main character 'Kikujiro'.
No matter what happens to us, we choose to react a certain way. And the way this guy decided to react in life is by being constantly aggressive and abusive to people. By reading the movie description i thought that the little boy would manage to 'change' this man's attitude and this would end up being a beautiful movie but more than an hour into the movie Kikujiro aggressively demands to have a lift from a lorry driver. The lorry driver says to him something like 'that's no way to talk to people, with your loud mouth, who would give you a ride'. So Kikujiro decided to send a brick through his windscreen and beat the daylight out of the lorry driver.
Who wants to see that kind of rubbish! I can read the newspaper any day to see idiots behaving like that on the excuse that something bad has happened to them when they were young. I know plenty of people whose childhood were very traumatizing including myself but do not behave that way. I do not find this entertaining, useful or instructive.
I actually laughed twice during this movie, both times were when something bad happened to this guy!
Also absolutely every scene is so so so slow! ie a car drives down the road and for what seems like an eternity, the car will be filmed driving down the road. The purpose and beauty of movies is that you can cut bits off! This movie lacked so much expertise and talent in filming that i wondered if maybe children had filmed it as a school project!
And i also found the acting to be pretty bad as well. Including from the child. Just because you slump your head down, purse your lips down and say nothing, isn't necessarily going to convey sadness. I can do that. Anyone can do that but real actors will infuse something more into the most simple emotions.
I put up with the movie, because quite a few people seemed to have found it great so i thought that maybe the good stuff comes later on. But after constant yawing, i decided to watch the movie speedx2 and at that speed you still have plenty of time to read the subtitles and see that the rest of the movie is just as bad throughout!
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Dull and uninspiringBy a customer , 25 Jun 2011Disappointing. This felt slow, dull and irritating. The main characters didn't pique my interest or my empathy. Interesting directing style and that's about it.