IMDb > Dolls (2002)
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Dolls (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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Takeshi Kitano (written by)
View company contact information for Dolls on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 October 2002 (Japan) See more »
Three stories of never-ending love. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 6 nominations See more »
(19 articles)
Now on Blu-ray: Early Kitanos Violent Cop, Boiling Point and Kids Return
 (From Screen Anarchy. 27 October 2016, 5:00 PM, PDT)

DVD Review: Kids Return
 (From CineVue. 25 October 2016, 1:10 AM, PDT)

DVD Review: Dolls
 (From CineVue. 29 March 2016, 6:52 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Visually Stunning and Wrenching Tour of Love and Guilt See more (60 total) »


  (in credits order)
Miho Kanno ... Sawako
Hidetoshi Nishijima ... Matsumoto

Tatsuya Mihashi ... Hiro, the Boss
Chieko Matsubara ... Ryoko, the Woman in the Park
Kyoko Fukada ... Haruna Yamaguchi, the Pop Star
Tsutomu Takeshige ... Nukui, the Fan
Kayoko Kishimoto ... Haruna's Aunt
Kanji Tsuda ... Young Hiro

Yûko Daike ... Young Ryoko
Ren Ôsugi ... Haruna's Manager
Shimadayu Toyotake ... Tayu, Puppet Theater Narrator
Seisuke Tsurusawa ... Puppet Theater Shamisen Player
Minotaro Yoshida ... Puppeteer of Umegawa the Courtesan
Yoshida ... Puppeteer of Chubei
Shôgo Shimizu ... Matsumoto's Father
Midori Kanazawa ... Matsumoto's Mother

Nao Ohmori ... Matsumoto's Colleague (as Nao Ômori)
Kyoko Yoshizawa ... Haruna's Mother
Kazunari Aizawa ... The Young Minion
Morooka Moro ... Hitman in the Park (as Moro Shioka)
Shûhei Saga ... The Driver
Al Kitago ... Aoki, the Fan
Hawking Aoyama ... Son of the Boss's Brother
Hôchû Ôtsuka ... Matsumoto's Friend (as Yoshitada Ohtsuka)
Mari Nishio ... Sawako's Friend
Sammy Moremore Jr. ... Friend of the Boss's Brother's Son
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Takeshi Ohnishi

Directed by
Takeshi Kitano 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Takeshi Kitano  written by

Produced by
Masayuki Mori .... producer
Takio Yoshida .... producer
Original Music by
Joe Hisaishi 
Cinematography by
Katsumi Yanagijima 
Film Editing by
Takeshi Kitano 
Production Design by
Norihiro Isoda 
Costume Design by
Yohji Yamamoto 
Production Management
Hideharu Yamashita .... production manager
Sound Department
Senji Horiuchi .... sound
Akihiko Okase .... foley artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Hitoshi Takaya .... lighting director
Music Department
Suminobu Hamada .... music engineer
Joe Hisaishi .... music arranger
Joe Hisaishi .... music performed by
Joe Hisaishi .... music producer
Masayoshi Okawa .... music mixer
Other crew
Andrew P. Kirkham .... bluray producer [gb]
Mario Locurcio .... italian publicist

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

This is the last Takeshi Kitano film to feature music by Joe Hisaishi. Kitano claimed that it became too expensive to hire Hisaishi for soundtracks while Hisaishi claimed that he didn't like the screenplay of the movie. Actually, they both had an argument about some pieces which weren't selected for the soundtrack, and where to put the others in the movie. They stopped working together since then.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Embrace (2007)See more »
FeelSee more »


When the hit of Haruna Yamaguchi plays the 1st time?
See more »
55 out of 67 people found the following review useful.
A Visually Stunning and Wrenching Tour of Love and Guilt, 17 December 2004
Author: noralee from Queens, NY

"Dolls" is a gripping lesson in film as a visual medium, even when exploring territory that Beckett and Bergman handled verbally.

Takeshi Kitano wrote, directed and edited with astonishing beauty and poignancy, way beyond the audience pleasing romp of "Zatôichi: The Blind Swordsman." With minimal dialog, he is in a great partnership with the breathtaking cinematography of Katsumi Yanagishima, which uses seasonal changes as powerful visual and emotional metaphors as did "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom)," and the moody music of Joe Hisaishi, which effectively switches back and forth from traditional to Western instrumentation, as the film opens with a Bunraku puppet theater performance and then the stories of three casually intersecting couples gradually enact the sensibility of this what I presume is a traditional tale. The senses are so powerfully called upon that when two blinded characters stand in a rose garden I practically smelled the flowers.

While I am sure I missed a multitude of references and symbols, particularly colors, to elements of Japanese culture past and present, the very powerful themes of the spectrum of ambition destroying love such that love becomes a guilt-filled responsibility at one extreme and obsession at the other are similarly hauntingly recalled in Western culture, such as in old English ballads and more contemporary versions like "The Long Black Veil" and Springsteen's "Reason to Believe." I also felt resonances from "Waiting for Godot" to classics sensitively sympathetic to love-tossed women as "Madame Bovary" and "Anna Karenina."

Flashbacks are used powerfully in a Joycean stream of consciousness way, so that we see the memories, dreams and disturbing nightmares of the characters'associations, literally showing us the Faulknerian dictum that "The past is never dead. It's never even past." This adds considerable emotional build-up for each character as they restlessly return to geographies with meanings to their lives and we gradually see what they were like before their current emotionally (or in some cases physically) stunted states so we heartbreakingly understand their personal iconography, particularly for those two unforgettably bound beggars.

There is no Hollywood happy endings for these couples, only acceptance of the fates they have consciously and willingly chosen and committed themselves to. But their resignation is thrillingly moving in its very graphic representation.

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