Format: DVD from Western Illinois University through WorldCat on laptop.
I was introduced to “Beat” Takeshi Kitano with the film Gohatto
. He was my favorite part of the film. That boded well for Hana-bi
), a film that was written by him, directed by him, and stars him. There’s a gravitas to him that few actors can equal, although I’m reminded of David Gulpilil in terms of his on-screen weight. He manages to at once be solemn, brutal, and tragic. I guess in that respect, he also reminds me of Ulrich Muhe, while at other times he reminds me of a Japanese De Niro. In Hana-bi
, he plays an ex-cop plagued by a series of problems that see him slowly spiraling into deeper and deeper problems.
Yoshitaka Nishi (Kitano) is a cop who has had a terrible string of luck. First, before the start of the film, his young daughter dies tragically. Next, his wife Miyuki (Kayoko Kishimoto) is stricken with leukemia and the prognosis is less than favorable. Third, and this is the straw that finally does him in, Nishi’s partner Horibe (Ren Ohsugi) is paralyzed when he is shot by a criminal while Nishi is visiting his wife in the hospital. With the injury to Horibe, Nishi retires to spend time with his ailing wife. The lack of income forces him to borrow money from the Yakuza—money he can’t pay back.