Movie Review – Kikujiro

Posted: June 9, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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This movie kick started a night long movie marathon of road movies. It was just the right movie to start with. Slow, steady, melancholy glazed with mild humor and most importantly humane.Image

We first see a kid who gets ready to school, may be his last day but we’re not sure of because he’s such a gloomy kid who doesn’t show emotions. When he sees pranksters he looks at his friend and says, “not this way” and moves off and runs in the opposite direction. One interesting thing about kids. They keep on running no matter what. They have enough things to get busy, get excited in life.

In process we learn that his father has died of road accident and his mother has been working elsewhere. All the food items kept to him are packed ones which his grandma keeps in the home for him to eat. By then he’d have even forgotten how good hot food tastes but he’s a kid who doesn’t complain. He first goes to the football club only to be ridiculed by coach that summer holidays has begun then he with his football he goes in search of his friends. Each friends exit is beautifully shown. One doesn’t remain at home when he calls out, the other one just leaves with his family when he reaches their home. As he’s not left with any option he returns home and when a courier guy asks for stamp he searches for it and that’s when he finds his mom’s photo.

As soon as he sees his mom’s photo with the address he starts off to meet her. A long shot of boy going out of focus looks so beautiful with equally exquisite background music. The background music lingers through our mind all the while even after the movie ends.

A mobster who’s character is caricature takes this boy with him to meet his mom on his wife’s compulsion. He would’ve called him a gloomy kid previously. The kid is as obedient as one can imagine. Then they travel all the while getting to meet different people. Every situation they handle is funny but it’s not a funny movie on the whole. There is sadness for the whole part of movie. Every time the kid laughs he laughs brightly but it doesn’t take much time for him to come back to his gloomy nature.

The kid fondly calls him mister and writes about all the adventures in his diary which he has to present it after school days. The topic of every chapter is cute and doesn’t exactly say what’s going to happen. The kid names the chapter in a way he likes. Sometimes it gives out what is going to happen but mostly it doesn’t. Beautifully done by the director. For example there is a chapter called ‘octopus man’ where a character named baldy is made as octopus but that’s just trivial. A lots of other things happen which seem important but as the whole movie is seen from the Childs point of view.  But in the chapter ‘angel bell’ the important happening is how mister gets angel bell. So it depends on how the kid thinks.

Sometimes we are not really sure of the misters’ deeds. He seem to be acting funnily just to make the kid laugh which he achieves too. The most heart touching scene is when he sees his mom along with another family. Mister who walked in front of kid stops as soon as he sees his mom. And that’s the only scene where mister is not able to think instinctively and make the kid laugh. He compensates it though after it.

Mister is not afraid to vent his anger on someone. He reeks with swear words but luckily for him people find him funny as we do. They know somehow that this guy is harmless and will not do a thing wrong so he gets fun loving people around who bear with all his deeds at least for the sake of kids.

During the beginning when the kid runs out of the house he runs through a bridge with railings on the left. He runs just outside the shadow it produces and keeps it along the line like a professional track runner. Similarly during the climax when he returns home he runs in the opposite direction with the railings to his right and runs outside the shadow with angel bell ringing. Both these scenes have excellent background music and that’s the only music throughout the film.

Another good thing about the movie is the sad part is not shown. His grandma might have been worried of the kid but it’s not shown. The scenes that we see are the scenes that feature the kid and the mister. And like me if you’re thinking what ‘Kikujiro’ means watch out for the climax. I let out a lazy laugh when that word was mentioned.


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