Fireworks (Hana-bi)

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Total Count: 23


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Movie Info

Actor and auteur Takeshi Kitano (who in Japan also uses the stage name "Beat" Takeshi, primarily for his work as a television comedian) wrote, directed, edited, and starred in this unusual crime drama. Nishi (Takeshi Kitano) is a policeman whose emotions seem to run only on two extreme paths -- either quiet contentment or brutal rage. Nishi's life is falling apart around him; his daughter was murdered, his wife, Miyuki (Kayoko Kishimoto), is dying of leukemia, his partner, Horibe (Ren Osugi), was ambushed by thugs after Nishi left him to visit his wife in the hospital and will now spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, and another cop was killed coming to Horibe's rescue. Nishi desperately wants to quit his job so he can spend more time with his dying wife, so he borrows a large sum of money from the yakuza (the Japanese mafia) and takes up a career as a painter while he cares for Miyuki. Not wanting to stay in debt to the gangsters, Nishi engineers a daring bank robbery (using his police uniform and an old auto disguised to look like a squad car) and uses the loot to pay off the yakuza and take his wife on a final vacation. However, the loan sharks are not eager to have Nishi off the hook, and they begin complaining that he still owes them interest on their loan. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Fireworks (Hana-bi)

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Fireworks (Hana-bi)

  • Dec 29, 2011
    Gorgeous piece of poetry with seductive interruptions of beautiful violence about the power of will to choose forcefully over tragic circumstances. Marvelous masterpiece. 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2011
    A profoundly moving, poetic movie, made of extremes that on most occasions works, but on others the contrasts are a bit too much to handle. Nevertheless no one should miss this and I dare you not to feel "something" towards Nishi's character.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • Jul 14, 2011
    Winner of the 1996 Venice Film Festival 'Golden Lion' award, Hana-Bi (roughly translated as 'Fireworks' or 'Fire-flower') is Takeshi "Beat" Kitano's sixth directorial outing and a powerful tale of love, loss and anger. The plot is, as expected in a Kitano film, minimal, following police officer Nishi (played by Kitano himself), an angry and violent cop whose slowly dying wife's medication is being funded for by Yakuza loan sharks. Nishi himself is very much what we've come to expect from Kitano, his stoic expression and silent nature draw a likeness to his roles in earlier films like 'Violent Cop' and 'Sonatine' and his extreme outbursts of violence seem to be the norm now. Where 'Hana-Bi' really establishes its brilliance however is with Hirobe, a police officer who was shot in the line of duty and spends his wheelchair bound days painting. A lot of beautiful artwork is featured throughout the film and all of it is attributed to Kitano himself, revealing a side of the auteur never before seen on film and giving the film the same (if a little weaker) personal feeling found in 'Sonatine'. It's very hard to write about Hana-bi without feeling like I'm repeating what I've said one million times before in my various other Kitano reviews, and in some ways this sums up perfectly what the film is to me, yes it's poignant, brilliant and a deserved recipient of The Golden Lion, but despite all this it just feels a little safe.
    Cameron S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2010
    Jaded and troubled cop gives his soon-to-be-dead wife a final road trip. I like Takeshi Kitano, and I particularly like Fireworks. He manages to combine violence, poignancy and comedy without throwing the pace of the film. and he leaves space and silence which others would fill with endless dialog or blow-em-ups. but which show you far more about the characters than a ten-page exposition or explosion ever could. And to add icing to the cake, a soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi.. Beautiful. <img src="">
    Lesley N Super Reviewer

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