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Takeshi Kitano's "Dolls"

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Takeshi Kitano's

Takeshi Kitano's "Dolls"

The Bottom Line

Frame for frame, Takeshi Kitano's moving drama "Dolls" will blow you away with its gorgeous imagery.
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  • Fairytale-like story of displaced characters in contemporary Japan
  • Stunning cinematography
  • Evocative score
  • Official selection of Cannes, Toronto, London and New York Film Festivals


  • None


  • Directed by: Takeshi Kitano
  • Starring: Miho Kanno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Tatsuya Mihashi, Chieko Matsubara, Kyoko Fukada
  • Based on traditional Bunraku doll theater
  • Distributor: Palm Pictures

Guide Review - Takeshi Kitano's "Dolls"

There aren't many movies more visually beautiful than Takeshi Kitano's odd but moving "Dolls." The rich red and gold of autumn foliage, luscious pink cherry blossoms, and white, glimmering winter snow: Kitano trails a lost, enigmatic young couple's journey through the seasons.

The man keeps his partner on a leash, a long red cord, to keep her from wandering away; the girl's failed suicide attempt binds them together forever, ironically after he has broken off the engagement to marry a woman he does not love. Kitano interweaves this tragic tale with two other elegiac stories. In one, a woman brings lunch to a park for over three decades, waiting for a lost love to return. In the third, a disfigured pop star is followed by a devoted fan who would go to any length for the chance to meet her.

Inspired by traditional Japanese Bunraku doll theater, "Dolls" is a departure from Kitano's trademark Yakuza thrillers ("Violent Cop," "Brother," "Zatoichi"). Moody and intense, the simple stories in "Dolls" are reminiscent of his equally enthralling "Fireworks."

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