Sonatine ★★★★★

Sonatine has always been my favorite Kitano movie probably because it is the one that better moves between the main strands that run through his work: absurd comedy, sentimental drama and violent action. It is like all of his gangster films, a comedy of criminal manners and one whose mystery is predicted on deslocation, all the macho bluster that usually motivates the action in the genre put under an unusual context. It certainly has things to say about violent men, but I suspect the movement exists here above all else because Kitano finds it a great source of amusement. (If anyone asks me why between the two big Kitano canon titles, I much prefer this one, I'd always go back to Sonatine be much funnier). All those genres identified earlier are usually very excessive and Kitano can push them very far to often alienating effects, but a lot of the beauty and mystery of Sonatine is in how detached the point view remain here regardless of what is being performed on screen. The film big shootout in the end is just a game of light and the final act like all the violence here becomes a formal gesture. Sonatine is a film of violent men in their down time, a movie of dreams, but no escapes beyond the precision of the images Kitano imagines them.

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