At first it's a bit baffling to be approached by Kitano's blood-rich signature style coupled with a more oniric theme-based B-story. Music (mostly Joe Hisashi) always is a major element of this director's movies, but here brings a sort of separation between how different people react when facing an end.
My favourite Kitano and possibly his finest achievement: a perfect demonstration of his idiosyncratic blend of comedy, sentimentality, violence and nihilism. There is a real poetry here - aural and visual - the combined elements of Hisaishi's score and Takeshi's artwork combining beautifully with the understated performances. Funny, horrifying and heartbreaking.
A meditative depiction of the effects of loss and tragedy on a person. The standouts here are the soundtrack, which is just overwhelmingly beautiful and punctuates certain moments perfectly rather than being present throughout the entirety, and the editing, which is so smooth that you are immediately pulled into this world and not released until the very end.
Though punctuated with moments of violence and terror, this is a beautiful film about finding meaning in life after loss and tradegy. Kitano is excellent - he is perhaps the most dead pan actor in the world and his shell shocked performance fits the film perfectly. The score (which reminds me of Studio Ghibli) is used sparingly with real impact. A film with true soul.
Hana-Bi is quintessentially Kitano, and so quintessentially Japan. Action is inferred by the observers' expressions rather than snapshots of the act. Words are rare, and when profuse typically pronounced by uninteresting people. Human acts aim at heroism, but courage is sometimes retrenching. Dignity is unconventional, as is marital love. The movie's final words heartbreaking in the full awareness of a simple life.
Kitano shows great deal of prowess combining a complex story with elegant aesthetics, confident enough to often suggest both the minutiae and the immense, in a film that meanders with meditative cadence sprinkled with outburst of bloody violence. An enormous talent looking for a signature film, Kitano is not exempt of petty sins. His Nishi, a reflection of The Man With No Name, feels immature, incomplete, restrained.
Invidiabile la lucidità mentale di Kitano, che scrive, mette in scena, gira, recita come protagonista ed alla fine monta il suo miglior film tutto da solo, riuscendo comunque a fare un lavoro ottimo. Il film è il riflesso del suo creatore : silenzioso, calmo ed assolutamente imprevedibile. Peccato per qualche scena che ogni tanto risulta un tantino forzata, rischiando di sbilanciare la comunque ottima sceneggiatura.