Nishi, a police detective, has had to deal with a series of emotionally devastating events over the recent past. His only child, then preschool age, died two years ago. His wife, currently in the hospital, has been diagnosed with a terminal case of leukemia. And he develops a case of guilt when his colleague Horibe, during a stakeout which Nishi himself was supposed to be on but who, on Horibe's suggestion, was visiting his wife in the hospital instead at the time, gets shot point blank. That guilt is only exacerbated when Horibe, who as a result becomes paraplegic, is abandoned by his wife and child, with Horibe himself at a loss with what to do with his life as being a police was his sole identity. As a means to cope, Nishi becomes increasingly reckless, which affects the way he does his police work. That recklessness extends to his personal life when his wife's doctor recommends that she go home, Nishi, in the process, borrowing money from the yakuza to make ends meet. That ...Written by
The Japanese title translates into 'Fireworks", but if you look further into the basis of the Japanese character for 'fireworks', you will see that it is composed of two smaller words - 'fire' and 'flower'. And like the linguistic basis of the title, the story and style of "Hana-Bi" is the synthesis of two opposing images, one being an agent of destruction, and the other a symbol of birth and renewal. See more »
Kitano's Hana-bi is something quite special, a film where images of violence and beauty are juxtaposed. The violence is deadly, but certainly not gratuitous or pointless. The beauty is the love story, the happiness between a cop and his wife.
There are 3 main stories in the picture, each one given the time it deserves. The film is beautiful to watch, the camera work is slick and amazing.
The direction is faultless and no frame is wasted. The film's images speak out, they are very powerful. The long silences add so much to the film, the director really knew what he was doing.
The screenplay is almost in the shadow of the awe-inspiring images, but does give the picture a deserving foundation!
The performances are 101% perfect, very authentic!
The film's musical score is beautiful, it feels very isolated from the images which only adds to the raw ambience, it's perfect!
This is a Japanese masterpiece, see it in wide-screen!
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