I remember the film vividly as it was one that you walk away thinking about, although I enjoyed the other films, I believe this is my favourite.
Starting off as a seemingly light and humourous family scene, you believe this is going to be a family orientated film. Focusing on a strong artistic theme, you start to notice little facts that tell the story of a young artist forced to follow in the footsteps of his father (which, at the time, was the ‘done thing’) You notice very early on that the young boy is intensely into art, this is only encouraged by his teacher allowing him to draw in class.
This film is a dramatic portrayal of a young boys escape into art, although they are constantly seen as disobedient and as he matures, the leniency he was shown in school disappears. Orphaned as a child due to the suicide of his parents, this film focuses on Machisu’s life and his dedication to his art. It almost feels surreal in a way. Takeshi adds some humour to the otherwise dark movie by Machisu befriending the local village idiot and experiencing what it is like to be a child again.
As Machisu becomes an adult and eventually marries, art becomes less of a hobby and more of a job. Immersing the audience into the dark side of art, the audience sits captivated as Machisu is rejected by dealers and critics who tell him to be more creative, original and try new things. In his bid to please the critics and make a name for himself, Machisu’s innocent love for art disappears and he drives himself insane trying to please.
This movie has something for everyone; suspense, drama, dark points, humour all emerged in what appears to be a deeply psychological and thought-provoking piece. Covering an often overlooked subject, Kitano shows the life of an artist in its truest form.
An amazing watch!