Japanese (English & Chinese Subtitles)
Director: Takeshi Kitano
Starring: Takeshi Kitano, Kotomi Kyono, Kayoko
Kishimoto, Ren Ohsugi, Susumu Terajima
RunTime: 1 hr 48 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films & Lighthouse
Day: 9 March 2006
Beat Takeshi lives the busy,
and sometimes surreal, life of a show biz celebrity. But his
blond lookalike named Kitano, a shy convenience store cashier,
is still an unknown actor waiting for his big break. After
crossing paths with Beat and a series of frustrating auditions,
Kitano seems to mysteriously fall into a fantasy state highlighted
by aspects of Beat's real life and violent onscreen persona...
Do you sometimes fantasize about how your life could be like,
if you were someone else, someone more successful? And how
you picture events played out where you're the everlasting
hero who gets the girl (or guy)? Sound familiar?
"Beat" Kitano is one of Japan's multi-talented director-writer-actor,
and in Takeshis', he plays not one, but two different characters
in a tale of such fantasy. As a larger than life version of
his successful self Beat Takeshi, he hams it up as the acclaimed
actor with his posse of manager and girlfriend in tow, celebrating
in his success in show business.
Takeshi's focus is on his other character, that of Kitano,
a convenience store employee who harbours a dream to make
it big in show business one day. He seems to have absolutely
no luck with various auditions for simple roles, but from
his disappointments come fuel for his rich imagination, especially
when looked down upon by Beat Takeshi somewhat.
with me up to this point? Good, because the movie thereafter
become a kaleidoscope of events that crosses the boundaries
of "real", "reel" and "was-that-made-up?".
The editing style will probably leave you wondering what really
is, and is not. There are clues provided though, but not much,
ranging from the obvious hair colour, to the logical transitions
between scenes and events, even to illogical happenings.
are many references in this movie from Takeshi's past works,
but perhaps the most identifiable is the yakuza character,
which is given the most screentime here. Though it gets a
bit repetitive, what with its poetic slow motion gun battles
with empty shells flying out of the chamber, and the cold
blooded violence, it numbs the audience and having to dislike
something is to have it done repeatedly until nauseating.
an ensemble cast in the movie who add colour to the challenging
plot, like the girlfriend, the female stalker, an aunty-character
who thinks Kitano owes her a living, 2 super-sized extras,
the yakuza, and the list goes on. But what holds them all
together are the Takeshis', and the thrill of having see some
characters in different light, and in different scenarios.
Kitano draws inspiration from, and fits into his world the
people he encounters, and in most there always seem to be
a comical angle.
not an easy act to follow, though if you try, you'll probably
find certain joy from single acts
which can stand alone. And that's perhaps one of the best
ways to enjoy the movie, feel it, and don't get the least
perturbed if certain events that transpire seem to dance around
shades of Beat Takeshi caricatures in his multi-dimensional
by Stefan Shih