A Japanese Yakuza gangster is exiled to the United States. Takeshi settles in Los Angeles where his younger, half brother lives and finds that although the turf is new, the rules are still the same as they try to take over the local drug trade. Written by
Beat Takeshi is a filmmaker so distinct and so completely different from any other filmmaker that you have to be prepared before seeing one of his films to watch something differently than you normally would. Brother is his first overseas production, and to this day his only one, and perhaps its minimal success and marginal fan base is due to its seeming lack of plot, its evasive editing, or something else that Takeshi customarily draws attention to, whether purposefully or not.
Brother is not quite his best film, but you will realize that the focus is not on the story but on the themes of its story. Completely unlike its characters, especially Takeshi's stone cold killer, its story is something to feel your way through. These characters do not feel much. They do. The movie is mostly made up of deadpan scenes of bloody violence, occasional dialogue, and quiet medium closeups. The music, which like in all Takeshi films is lush and emotional, directs our feelings.
Brother is great for fans of crime movies, gangsters, violence overall, Asian cinema, and even action fans, but Takeshi Kitano's style is a strangely deadpan and very personal approach. It's an acquired taste.
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