Kikujiro
Kikujirô no natsu
Japan, 1999, 117 minutes, HD
Kikujiro Synopsis

It’s summer and little Masao has no one to play with. With soccer practice suspended and his friends away at the beach, living alone with his grandmother seems even less fun for a nine-year-old boy.


With address and photo in hand, Masao decides to take off in search of the mother he’s never met. But with little money and even less sense of direction, Masao can’t go alone. A friend of his grandmother volunteers her husband to accompany the boy on his quest.


Kikujiro hardly seems an ideal companion for anyone, let alone for a boy as sensitive as the sullen Masao. Brash, loudmouthed and always on the lookout for easy money, the irresponsible Kikujiro doesn’t even appear to be overly fond of children.


Kikujiro’s excursion to the cycle races is the first of a series of adventures for the unlikely pair. Theirs will be a whimsical journey of laughter and tears with many a zany surprise and oddball character to meet along the way. All to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. All to show wide-eyed Masao that the world, as he’s known it, is not without magic.


By the bittersweet trip’s end, Masao will have collected a wealth of information for his “What I Did Last Summer” project. And for Kikujiro, the heart-warming lesson that sometimes it takes a child’s games to help us see exactly what went wrong with our own lives.

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Reviewed by lenidecastro
Takeshi Kitano, who specializes in crime dramas, created this robust mixture of quiet and loud hard-boiled violence with a hint of sweet gag and slapstick comedy. Kikujiro’s role is akin... more
Takeshi Kitano, who specializes in crime dramas, created this robust mixture of quiet and loud hard-boiled violence with a hint of sweet gag and slapstick comedy. Kikujiro’s role is akin to that of a jester which is supposed to make the kid laugh but doesn’t. The movie has a lot of funny episodes including one where they meet a couple of thugs who turn out to be harmless. rnOverall, the movie is fascinating and original. It builds up momentum, gathers speed and finally bursts into episodes of excitement. In the end, the audience sympathizes with Masao and this kills the comedy.
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