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Sonatine (1993)

Cast: Takeshi Kitano, Tetsu Watanabe
Director: Takeshi Kitano
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Studio: Disney
Genre: Foreign, Japan, Classic Crime, Crime, Classic Crime, Gangsters, Yakuza
Running Time: 94 min.

This title is currently out of print.

Acclaimed Japanese filmmaker, comedian, television star, author, and all-around renaissance man Takeshi "Beat" Kitano stars in this unconventional take on the crime drama. Kitano portrays Murakawa, a successful Yakuza officer who has grown weary of the violent life, so much so that he has even considered retirement. Thus, he is not pleased when he is asked to lead a team to help defuse a gang war in Okinawa but agrees when he is assured it will be an easy job. It proves anything but, however, and he soon finds himself in the middle of a complex, bloody conflict. Fearing that he has been set up, Murakawa withdraws to a nearby coastal town. The film takes a trademark Kitano turn at this point, moving away from the standard crime drama plot to focus on what amounts to a gangster's summer vacation, with the killers playing frisbee on the beach and taking dancing lessons. Murakawa even finds a summer romance, falling in love with a local girl who is impressed by his way with a gun. This sunny idyll cannot last forever, however, and soon the realities of the criminal life catch up with them. Seen as a prime example of Kitano's style, Sonatine features a combination of deadpan comedy and unexpectedly romantic lyricism, periodically interrupted by shockingly sudden bursts of violence. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Simple-minded? by liversounds January 6, 2006 - 11:34 PM PST
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
First intrigued by the simplicity of the violence in Kitano's "Brother", and now many of his films later I conclude that as a director Kitano is simple-minded... he leaves the viewer with a sense that his motivation is the heart and love instead of politics--that he is having fun... I'd like to say this is an interesting mix with the brutality of yakuza existence, but Kitano's love of beauty and playfulness is an indulgence... however, the overall effect on the movie-violence is profound, as we are always shown and not told--and always without plot motivation and explanation... this alone is refreshing, and reason to admire each of his works...

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.40)
96 Votes
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