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Sonatine (1993)

Several yakuza from Tokyo are sent to Okinawa to help end a gang war. The war then escalates and the Tokyo drifters decide to lay low at the beach.

Director:

Takeshi Kitano

Writer:

Takeshi Kitano
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Takeshi Kitano ... Aniki Murakawa
Aya Kokumai Aya Kokumai ... Miyuki
Tetsu Watanabe ... Uechi
Masanobu Katsumura Masanobu Katsumura ... Ryoji
Susumu Terajima ... Ken
Ren Osugi ... Katagiri (as Ren Ôsugi)
Tonbo Zushi Tonbo Zushi ... Kitajima
Ken'ichi Yajima ... Takahashi
Eiji Minakata Eiji Minakata ... The Hit Man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hiroshi Ando Hiroshi Ando ... Ito
Chris Britton ... Gangster with shades (as Christopher Britton)
Takeshi Fukazawa Takeshi Fukazawa ... Sakai
Bob Gunter ... Gangster
Rome Kanda ... Gangster
Hôka Kinoshita Hôka Kinoshita ... A member of kitajima-gumi
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Storyline

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. But, what if he's successful? What is there to life anyway? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The mob put the finger on him...so he gave them the finger back - curled tight around a trigger! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody shootings, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ken: Not fair! You are using a real gun!
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits, various shots of the beach that were taken a year or so later, are included. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad Dog Express (2019) See more »

User Reviews

 
A truly masterful minimalist work
14 December 2001 | by *(CableGuy)*See all my reviews

Having finally experience Sonatine, I can't say enough for this poignant and moving film. Beat Takeshi may face death with that same disconnected look on his face, but it is the inaction, the time between the killings, that carry all the meaning. Even when in gunbattles, nobody moves, nobody tries to dodge, it is as if everyone simply feels chained to their fate. This is jarring to Asian cinema lovers used to side-jumping, dual-gun gymnastics and amazing set pieces.

I love how the only emotions Murakawa expresses are humor and nihilist apathy. The "sumo scene" is so delightfully out-of-place, while the ending simply leaves your mouth open. The warmth the characters show just makes it more hurtful when they meet such pathetic, low-key ends. I'm not an expert on Japanese society, but I see this film as a comment on the emptiness of a fear-filled culture of reservation, where it is more important to show restraint and respect than it is to continue living.

I'll still enjoy good ol' HK pistol operas, but I'll never see them quite the same again.


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Details

Official Sites:

Miramax

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

10 April 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sonachine See more »

Filming Locations:

Okinawa, Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,527, 12 April 1998

Gross USA:

$58,834

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$58,834
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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