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Kikujiro (1999)
"Kikujirô no natsu" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Comedy  |  26 May 2000 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 13,365 users   Metascore: 44/100
Reviews: 86 user | 74 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

A young, naive boy sets out alone on the road to find his wayward mother. Soon he finds an unlikely protector in a crotchety man and the two have a series of unexpected adventures along the way.

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kikujiro (as Beat Takeshi)
Yusuke Sekiguchi ...
Masao
Kayoko Kishimoto ...
Kikujiro's Wife
The Great Gidayû ...
Biker (as Gurêto Gidayû)
Rakkyo Ide ...
Biker's Friend
Akaji Maro ...
Crazy Man
...
Masao's Mother
Fumie Hosokawa ...
Juggler Girl
Nezumi Imamura ...
An-chan
Bîto Kiyoshi ...
Man at Bus Stop
Daigaku Sekine ...
Yakuza Boss
Yôji Tanaka ...
Yakuza Henchman
Makoto Inamiya ...
Yakuza Henchman
Hisahiko Murasawa ...
Yakuza Henchman
Tarou Suwata ...
Stall-keeper
Edit

Storyline

Brash, loudmouthed and opportunistic, Kikujiro hardly seems the ideal companion for little Masao who is determined to travel long distances to see the mother he has never met. Their excursion to the cycle races is the first of a series of adventures for the unlikely pair which soon turns out to be a whimsical journey of laughter and tears with a wide array of surprises and odd ball characters to meet along the way. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a threatening incident | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kikujiro  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$28,079 (USA) (26 May 2000)

Gross:

$198,238 (USA) (11 August 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Kikujiro: [to the teenagers who have stolen Masao's lunch money] Hand over more money or I'll kill you guys!
Kikujiro's Wife: Quit playing gangster!
See more »

Crazy Credits

There's one more scene after the credits. See more »

Connections

References Stand by Me (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Summer
Written by Joe Hisaishi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Demonstrates that Kitano is still a master without the violence
17 March 2002 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

By 1999 Takeshi Kitano had quite rightly gained a lot of international recognition for his brilliantly constructed Yakuza/Cop stories, but was apparently dis-satisfied that everybody tended to focus on the violence in them. So he decided to make a movie without any violence to remind people that he was a much more rounded talent than that. "Are you sure about this?", the world asked. "Yes", he replied... and made Kikujiro.

Kikujiro is difficult to adequately describe, but the fact that it was allegedly inspired by the Wizard of Oz is a good starting point. The basic premise is a road trip, where Kitano is the unlikely chaperone for a little boy who wants to go and find his mother. After gambling away all the money his wife gives him to take the kid, they have to improvise their transport across the country. Along the way they meet a small but colourful cast of characters, and get to know each other a little bit too.

I'd hesitated about picking this up for ages, and eventually went for a rental rather than a purchase. Kitano minus violence just didn't seem right! But that was definitely an injustice I was doing him, and Kikujiro is a good demonstration that his talents really are much broader. In fact, after watching it there is no doubt that he is one of the greatest director/actor/writer and editor working in the world today. A brilliantly painted story, full of subtly and quirkiness. Awesome cinematography and an incredible soundtrack... truly world class in every respect. Well, to be fair the child actor was a bit stiff, but it seems mean to hold that against the movie.

Definitely recommended if you haven't already seen it!


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