May 7, 2010

Kikujiro - A Japanese movie!

Hi Guys,

Yesterday, I watched a Japanese movie ‘Kikujiro’ in UTV World Movies channel. It is a brilliant movie about a small boy searching for his mother in his summer vacation. 
Masao lives with his Grandmother in the suburbs of Tokyo. His grandma works in a bakery. When he is alone, a delivery man comes with a parcel and asks the boy to bring rubber stamp. While doing so, the boy discovers his mother’s photo and her address. So he sets out to find his mother who lives in Toyohashi. A gang tries to rob his money when a woman (his neighbor) rescues him. She forces her husband (Kikujiro) to accompany the boy and gives him 50000 yen for the travel.

Kikujiro is an ex-yakuza (criminal) and a bad mannered man. Kikujiro is not interested in the journey. He takes the boy to a cycling stadium for gambling. There he loses all his money. Downtrodden he goes to a bar and drinks in angriness. When he comes outside, he discovers that the boy is taken to a nearby park by a molester. He rescues the boy and promises the boy that he will take him to his mother.

He steals a taxi and to their bad luck the car breaks down. They go to a nearby hotel and decide to spend the night there. All the remaining money is spent and they don’t even have money to continue their travel. The receptionist takes pity on the boy and drops them in the highway. He also gives some money to the boy and asks him to buy whatever he wants.
They get lift from a juggler and her boy friend. They get dropped in a bus stop. The bus stop seems to be very old one and no buses come along that way. A very few passing cars also don’t stop. They spend the night there. Before sleeping Kikujiro sees the boy’s mother in her photo and says that she is very sweet. The boy says he has never seen his mother. Kikujiro realizes that the boy is like him. He starts to care for the boy.

The next morning, they walk for some distance and reach the main road. They plan to puncture a car by placing a nail and then to help and get help from the car. In that way they get help and reach another spot. There they get help from a nice lad. He introduces himself as a poet and writer and says he roams the whole country. He drops them in Toyohashi.
Masao sits in a bench and Kikujiro sets to find his mother. He is shocked to see that the boy’s mother is married to some other guy and they have a child. The boy sees it from a distance and starts crying. Kikujiro convince him and says that was not his mother. Kikujiro meet two bikers and get an angel bell from them (something believed to produce luck) and gives it to the boy. They visit a carnival that night.

They continue to travel. Kikujiro steals corn from a farm. The poet (who gave them lift) is also there stealing. They meet again and the poet feels sorry for the kid. They sell the stolen corn in the highway and decide to camp there for the boy’s sake. They camp in a nearby lake (or river), which is half dry due to summer.
The two bikers also join them there. Kikujiro is reminded of his own mother (who also left him like Masao). He goes to Daito-chu (a small town) where his mother is with the help of one of the bikers. He sees his mother but returns without showing himself to her. Back in the camp, they do whatever they can to make the boy happy. They play many traditional games. They dress themselves comically (like Alien, Watermelon, Demon, etc) and make the boy happy.
At the end of the camp, all of them are very happy. The bikers say good bye to the three, who continue their journey to Tokyo. The poet leaves them in Tokyo and says he is traveling to Osaka. Kikujiro says that time has come to part. He says that they can do it again sometime. He says the boy to take care of his Grandma. The boy thanks him. The boy runs very happily and so ends the movie. 

Throughout the movie, names are not used. Kikujiro calls Masao as kid or boy. Masao calls Kikujiro as Mister. The bikers are called Baldy and Faldy by Kikujiro. The bikers and poet’s name are not disclosed. At the end of the movie, Masao calls Kikujiro and asks, ‘Mister, What your name?’ That’s when we come to know his name.

The movie is unfolded like a novel. It is like describing events from the boy’s diary. The movie is subdivided into chapters. That was something very new to me.

The movie is sad for most parts. But it is filled with humor all along. The film is directed by Takeshi Kitano. Both Beat Takeshi (Kikujiro) and Yusuke Sekiguchi (Masao) act superbly. Katsumi Yanagishima is the Cinematographer. He shows us a beautiful Japan. A Japan we have not seen. A Japan filled with farms, mountains, lakes, nature.

The film was released in 1999 and was screened in Cannes film festival and has got many International Awards.

Happy Reading!!!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting review. I will for sure watch this movie. In pics the child looks so cute.

    Best wishes. :)


Thanks for visiting and spending time with my blog! Hope you had a nice time in my blog!

Please let your comments here. Your comments add fuel to my writings.