Kitano’s films have always been a tonal balancing act, and “Kikujiro” is no exception, juggling sobriety, sentiment, slapstick and savagery in a way that really shouldn’t work as well as it does. It’s a cocktail western critics evidently found more palatable within the confines of the crime genre, but this film is one-of-a-kind; visually arresting, contemplative, weird and wonderful.
It's interesting to see Kitano bring his more slapstick comedic persona into his drama (nice to see fellow Beat Kiyoshi in a cameo too). This makes for some very funny moments alongside some set pieces of surreal tenderness, especially in the final third. If overall the film lacks a sense of dramatic development, its whimsicality and underlying thoughtfulness make for an enjoyable and often moving experience.
A nice, charming road movie that features both some genuinely emotional moments as well as interesting frame compositions (such as the shot of Kikujiro and Masao reflected in the rim of a car's wheel as it drives away). Beat Takeshi is a great physical comedian.
Kitano explores the naivety of childhood with simplicity and charm. The cinematography in this film is truly beautiful and gives the film a wonderful aesthetic. The many silences throughout seem to implore the audience to constantly reflect. While at times I found Kikujiro's character to be hard to relate to, the boyish innocent charm of Kitano seems to make them the perfectly balanced pair.
Little tale of bond and redemption quick on the joke and the slapstick but equally often struggling for pathos. Kitano once more shows technical ability and a very neat execution but does not match them with a robust powerful story to burst the dam of emotions. In fact the film often feels decaf, weak, a little bit lost in pointless alleys, trying to say something very simple with too many words.
La meravigliosa amicizia tra uno yakuza gaglioffo ed un bimbo speranzoso. Il grande viaggio del piccolo Masao verso la poco presente figura materna è adorno di scelte registiche rischiose, ma sempre vincenti, grazie al solito Kitano che la paura di osare non sa nemmeno che forma abbia. I giochi, le sfighe e i pianti sono tenuti assieme egregiamente, grazie anche alla spettacolare musica di Hisaishi. Che bello.
Une autre facette de Takeshi Kitano. L'oeuvre peut étonner, pour ceux qui ne connaissent du réalisateur que ces films "noirs" en oubliant ces prestations passées à la télévision japonaise comme acteur comique invétéré. Pour notre part, malgré une évidente sympathie pour cette réalisation, notre admiration reste tout de même mitigée... www.cinefiches.com