Takin' a stroll down memory lane w/ a yokel street gang.
Mendicant Pigeon | pdx, or United States | 06/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is an ineffable something about this self-described nostalgia film by one of the world's best film scriptwriter-directors that will inhabit the nether-regions of your psyche, and when you flip through your dvd collection its cover will beckon to you. Now that I think about what I have just written, I appreciate the irony of that statement and feel compelled to show obeisance to Mr. Takashi because I realize that his filmographic trip down memory lane has elicited feelings of nostalgia in me which I should not feel as I am neither Japanese, nor have experienced anything remotely similar to what is depicted in this movie. In the DVD extras we learn that Takashi has created a story around the capers and caperings (however violent and unfunny) of a street gang from Osaka who because they are not from Tokyo are what amount to 'small town thugs' even though Osaka is a city of nearly nine millions. They are bumpkins akin to what a Chicagoan is to a New Yorker (the director chose local, unknown, Osakan actors for their accents and habits, some of whom I'm happy to say have since gone on to other films). What we witness is the progression of young punks who, to begin with want nothing more than a good punch up and a bit of fun with their girl friends, then use their street hood status to earn points and then jobs in the yakuza underworld. At some point decisions are made and actions taken that transform their lives from innocent punks to fledgling adults whose must choose either maturity and a conformist life or the terminal infantilism of the gangster world. Suffice it to say that in the process some people die, some people get hurt before muddled thoughts clear, and love once again raises its fair head only to find...."