Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano, 1999) -
I had not heard of this film, or even Kitano prior to this dictation from JolietJerry. My immediate reaction at the conclusion of the film, and even at certain points throughout, was "what the heck was that?'. Really out there film and in some ways reminded me of some of the anime films from Japan I have seen with a sense of supernatural and a certain mystical nature to the proceedings. However, it did not have the same effect as those Ghibli films have had on me, and I think the main issue I found with the film was the main character, the kid. Nobody I don't think ever cared for him, throughout the entire film. I can see how some would argue otherwise with the mild transformation of the Kikujiro character, and the couple strangers they meet along the way to take the kid to see his real mother, but I really saw Kikujiro as a selfish, fiendish character throughout, whose transformation was only for his good, and not the kid's.
It went from bizarre moment to bizarre moment and no scene I can remember ever felt fully thought out, which just resulted in an uneven, off-kilter pace and emotion. It never drew me in or piqued my interest. The only real good thing I can say about the film was its marvelous score, which, while it had a wonderful whimsy and hopefullness to it, never really matched with what was on screen. Kitano almost used it to do what he could not, bridge an emotional connection with the audience since his story never did. It just seemed to keep going, in a bad way, too. About half way through seemed the conclusion of the journey, but then Kitano goes even further into the fantastical and strange, adding nothing but fluff to the proceedings. Not really sure what that was all about at all. I am completely lost on this one.
I really wish I could have enjoyed it more JolietJerry; I also feel an obligation to give these dictations the benefit of the doubt and try my hardest to find the good in them all, but this time I really struggled. Thanks for trying anyway Jerry.
** - Poor