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Sonatine (1993) – English Review

Indecent exposure is fun.

A gangster is sent to Okinawa, where two yakuza clans are in a minor war. He’s supposed to calm them down, but it turns out that someone has tricked him. So he and his small group of men seek refuge on the beach, where they are enjoying themselves and having fun. But eventually, he has to pick up a weapon and find out what’s going on.

Sonatine is considered to be one of Takeshi Kitano’s best movies. The movie is good, but as usual with Takeshi Kitano, Sonatine is a weird movie. This weirdness is what I like best about Takeshi Kitano. He’s the director, and he has the leading role in this relaxing yakuza movie.

The story is thin. But the movie has so much charm, and Takeshi Kitano is so good and funny when he’s in the fun and creative corner that can irritate many people.

Most people love the scenes on the beach when the protagonist and his little gang are enjoying themselves and come up with a lot of strange games. Is there much meaning in these scenes? No, but it’s fun and relaxing, and I always calm down when watching the beautiful beach, and the cinematography is fantastic. I also want to be there with this silly group and wear an ugly Hawaiian shirt!

There are only a few short action scenes we get to see. And they are not exactly impressive. But it doesn’t matter, as Takeshi Kitano is always cool and mesmerizing when he starts shooting. He only needs a few seconds, and then the job is done.

Sonatine is a good movie, even if the story is thin. You have to look for a meaning yourself. Either you love Takeshi Kitano, or you just shake your head. I love this weird man. His movies aren’t for everyone, and Sonatine can certainly be a shock to those who expect a generic yakuza movie. Sonatine is not a generic yakuza movie!

Rating: 8/10

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