Pale Flower (Kawaita hana) Reviews

  • Mar 22, 2017

    Its moody and atmospheric, but also very static. I couldn't get into this film, it felt a bit slow. I don't consider it a good film.

    Its moody and atmospheric, but also very static. I couldn't get into this film, it felt a bit slow. I don't consider it a good film.

  • Jul 28, 2015

    Masahiro Shinoda's odd re-working of Camus' 'The Stranger' within the 1960's Japanese Yakuza world of vice and gambling is more style than substance. Masao Kosugi's artful cinematography blended with Yûji Takahashi and Tôru Takemitsu musical score creates an atmosphere that is more "cool" than paranoid. Less a "thriller" than an interesting "experience." "Pale Flower" offers a great deal more than it feels like it should. Excellent.

    Masahiro Shinoda's odd re-working of Camus' 'The Stranger' within the 1960's Japanese Yakuza world of vice and gambling is more style than substance. Masao Kosugi's artful cinematography blended with Yûji Takahashi and Tôru Takemitsu musical score creates an atmosphere that is more "cool" than paranoid. Less a "thriller" than an interesting "experience." "Pale Flower" offers a great deal more than it feels like it should. Excellent.

  • Dec 31, 2014

    One of the more unique of the yakuza movies, really offers a slice of the obsessive and lonely directioneless life of one man who becomes obsessed with this girl but then not entirely. The protagonist was particularly gripping all throughout.

    One of the more unique of the yakuza movies, really offers a slice of the obsessive and lonely directioneless life of one man who becomes obsessed with this girl but then not entirely. The protagonist was particularly gripping all throughout.

  • Nov 08, 2014

    Breathtaking cinematography befitting a noir of this high caliber!

    Breathtaking cinematography befitting a noir of this high caliber!

  • Jan 19, 2014

    Muraki has just been let out of prison for a gangland killing but finds that his boss now has a truce with the enemy gang. He shrugs it off, as his interest it taken up by a mysterious lady gambler who is bored enough by life to try anything. Muraki tags along, sort of drifting through the underworld. Masahiro Shinoda creates a stylish "new wave" environs for this tired hard-boiled yakuza to haunt, all moody high contrast B&W. The gambling dens where they play hanafuda (a sort of Japanese blackjack with wooden cards) are just parts of the void where time and money disappear. In the end, to an English-language opera by Purcell, Muraki carries out one last job, to show his lady gambler true nihilism. This film created the mould that later yakuza films would seek to fill.

    Muraki has just been let out of prison for a gangland killing but finds that his boss now has a truce with the enemy gang. He shrugs it off, as his interest it taken up by a mysterious lady gambler who is bored enough by life to try anything. Muraki tags along, sort of drifting through the underworld. Masahiro Shinoda creates a stylish "new wave" environs for this tired hard-boiled yakuza to haunt, all moody high contrast B&W. The gambling dens where they play hanafuda (a sort of Japanese blackjack with wooden cards) are just parts of the void where time and money disappear. In the end, to an English-language opera by Purcell, Muraki carries out one last job, to show his lady gambler true nihilism. This film created the mould that later yakuza films would seek to fill.

  • Nov 02, 2013

    How is it that I have never seen this Film Noir, Japanese New Wave masterpiece? Wow, just wow. This movie is all dark style, beautiful and deadly and great. See it! Available on Hulu Plus.

    How is it that I have never seen this Film Noir, Japanese New Wave masterpiece? Wow, just wow. This movie is all dark style, beautiful and deadly and great. See it! Available on Hulu Plus.

  • Sep 11, 2013

    A newly-paroled Yakuza member (who served time for murder) goes into his old gambling haunts then befriends and falls in love with a mysterious female gambler. This films reminds me of Wong Kar-Wai with its beautiful cinematography and lowkey/chaste love story. It's surprisingly largely non-violent for a film centering on the Yakuza but still manages to have an aura of tension about it. Violence can explode at many minute! I wasn't completely blown away by it but it's still a worthwhile piece of work.

    A newly-paroled Yakuza member (who served time for murder) goes into his old gambling haunts then befriends and falls in love with a mysterious female gambler. This films reminds me of Wong Kar-Wai with its beautiful cinematography and lowkey/chaste love story. It's surprisingly largely non-violent for a film centering on the Yakuza but still manages to have an aura of tension about it. Violence can explode at many minute! I wasn't completely blown away by it but it's still a worthwhile piece of work.

  • danny d Super Reviewer
    Jul 15, 2013

    a fresh, unique take on the yakuza films of that time. the characters are not atypical, but the focus of this story really is. clan rivalry and looming violence permeates the story but the heart of it is about a romanticism that never quite finds its expression. the film is about the romantic timidity of otherwise confident and assertive people. the climax is so effective as we never really find out what we thought we wanted to know about "the pale flower" of the gangster world, but we're somehow ok with that because our main character is ok with that. a great film.

    a fresh, unique take on the yakuza films of that time. the characters are not atypical, but the focus of this story really is. clan rivalry and looming violence permeates the story but the heart of it is about a romanticism that never quite finds its expression. the film is about the romantic timidity of otherwise confident and assertive people. the climax is so effective as we never really find out what we thought we wanted to know about "the pale flower" of the gangster world, but we're somehow ok with that because our main character is ok with that. a great film.

  • May 18, 2013

    This is an amazing movie and I simply cannot recommend it enough for lovers of film noir and Japanese cinema.

    This is an amazing movie and I simply cannot recommend it enough for lovers of film noir and Japanese cinema.

  • Jan 19, 2013

    Shinoda's gangster flick Pale Flower is riveting with intensity, an established setting, and themes of evil and death tightly wound into a perfect artistic delivery. The iconic dream sequence clearly depicts the film's artistic value at its highest.

    Shinoda's gangster flick Pale Flower is riveting with intensity, an established setting, and themes of evil and death tightly wound into a perfect artistic delivery. The iconic dream sequence clearly depicts the film's artistic value at its highest.