Kids Return (1995)

Takeshi Kitano directs Ken Kaneko, Masanobu Andô and Michisuke Kashiwaya in this Japanese coming-of-age drama where two delinquents bunk off from school getting involved in petty crime and boxing.

A simple enough teen comedy told in Beat Takeshi’s deadpan style. The cinematography is as colourful as Joe Hisaishi’s score. Things grow more serious in the second half, the mood becomes yakuza adjacent if not full fat crime thriller. We keep an eye on lots of other wistful characters as the boys become adults, and these sad little subplots intrude or illuminate on the main friendship in memorable ways.


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