Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sonatine (1993)

Director: Takeshi Kitano

Starring: Takeshi Kitano

More info: IMDb

Tagline: His mob boss double-crossed him. Now it's payback time!

Plot: A world-weary yakuza in Tokyo is assigned to take his clan to Okinawa to help settle a dispute between two factions. He's suspicious of the assignment, but he goes, and within a couple days, his role remains unclear and several of men are dead. He retreats to a house on a remote beach to wait. The first night there , he rescues a young woman from an assault, and they develop a playful relationship. Over time, it becomes clear he's been set up, sent to Okinawa so that others can take over his lucrative territory. As his clan dwindles, he plans a revenge.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Nah. Once was enough.

Here's an atypical crime/gangster picture. There's not an awful lot of action but there's enough. The strange thing is how relaxed and easy the film moves along. Kitano's character is very sure of himself and has all the patience in the world. Once they're in hiding on the beach, they find all manner of things to do to pass the time, much like a forced vacation with no communication to the outside world. There's plenty of humor to be found in their boredom. The juxtaposition of killers playing like children is fascinating and something you don't see. SONATINE is an unusual film that may try your patience if you're waiting for gunfights but for others it's an exercise in genre bending that succeeds like few others.

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