Looking for something new to watch on Netflix? We've got you covered. Asakusa Kid is a film based on the life of renowned Japanese comedian Kitano Takeshi, a.k.a Beat Takeshi, who you may also know as an actor, a movie director or a popular TV show host and commentator these days. The story, based on true events, takes you through the early years of Kitano's career at France-za in Asakusa, a comedy club that doubles as a strip club. Although Kitano starts off with little comedic skill, he apprentices under Fukami, the owner of the club who recognizes his potential, and Kitano quickly picks up various tricks of the entertainment trade, like tap dancing. The film showcases Kitano's rise to fame and reflects on some of the hardships of the industry.
In terms of language use, the film portrays Tokyo's "good-old" shitamachi dialect, which is somewhat vulgar and blunt, but has a good rhythm and an element of humor lacking in the standard Tokyo dialect. If you decide to check it out, keep an ear out for expletive phrases (a.k.a. curse words) like ばかやろう (bakayarо̄, meaning "dumb-ass"). You'll hear Kitano use it quite frequently, even today.
Despite it being a film about the career of a comedian, it has dark undertones with themes of debt, betrayal, and death. The acting is impressive, and features some well-known Japanese actors, a few of whom you may recognize. The shots are vivid and beautifully crafted, providing a realistic glimpse of retro Tokyo. Whether you're familiar with this comedian or not, it's one to watch!