A business man's life is changed forever when his fiancée
shoots herself. Distraught by her death, he is determined
to get hold of an identical handgun by any means possible
and track down the street gang he believes is ultimately responsible
for her death.
Bullet Ballet is a strange film and one that is not easy
to pigeonhole. Not that that in itself is a bad thing, it's
just that by it's conclusion I started to wonder whether director
Shinya Tsukamoto (who is also the lead actor), really knew
himself what he was trying to convey to the audience.
first half of the movie is concerned with our hero's (Goda)
numerous attempts to find a suitable gun as well as confronting
the gang that he believes is responsible for his girlfriend's
death. But once he tracks this gang down the movie totally
changes tact - in fact if you didn't know better you'd almost
think it was two very different films stitched together.
only really when you understand the Japanese culture that
the significance of the gun as a murder weapon becomes clear.
The right to own a gun in Japan, unlike America, is not a
given right and strict gun laws are in place. The only firearm
that normal citizens can possess legally is a shotgun, but
then there is a long and slow process to go through before
a permit is issued for one. So Goda's long quest to obtain
a firearm and the problems he faces is a lot more difficult
than it would be in the USA (obviously).
Visually this movie is beautiful. Shot in atmospheric black
and white, the locations chosen are hauntingly claustrophobic,
even more so when juxtaposed between shots of city skylines.
Actually, while I'm on the subject of skylines I was confused
as to the use of several shots in this movie. One of which
sees a tense moment broken by a quick shot of a skyline, and
then it was back to the tense scene. It looked like it was
designed for a TV channel so that they could cut away for
the commercial break. I'm sure it wasn't there for that reason,
but then I am at a total loss to explain why it was included
director also has a thing about running - everyone does it
and it's usually followed by a shaky, handheld camera. After
a while the juddery camera was starting to give me a headache.
include an audio commentary, an interview with the director
is not, unfortunately one of Tsukamoto's better films. It
is too confusing, too disjointed and the ending left me questioning
whether I had missed something along the way.
this item online
compare prices online so you get the cheapest
(Please note all prices exclude P&P - although
Streets Online charge a flat £1 fee regardless
of the number of items ordered). Click on the
logo of the desired store below to purchase
NTSC (USA) Edition
Region 2 Edition
All prices correct at time of going to press.