Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sonatine (1993)

Finally something that's not a martial arts or horror flick; Beat Takeshi's yakuza epic Sonatine. You can go here for a plot summary, but beware of possible spoilers.

If there's such a thing as a minimalist gangster film, then this is it. Its more of a meditation on life than it is an action picture, with long periods of calm punctuated by quick flashes of brutal violence. This is something of a trademark for Takeshi, as is the air of loneliness that prevades the whole affair. This effect is enhanced by Takeshi's decision to use the desolate beaches of Okinawa as a backdrop for the majority of the movie's scenes, and also by Joe Hisaishi's haunting score.

The film has been released on DVD here in the States, but only as a bonus disc included with the release of Takeshi's disappointing Zatoichi remake. There isn't much in the way of bonus features, but it's worth the price if you want to see a different kind of gangster film.

1) The word 'sonatine' is a musical term.

No comments: