Masao is a quiet, sensitive nine year old boy who dreams of being reunited with his long lost mother. Kikujiro is a lazy, manipulative small time gangster and a most unlikely companion. They both set off on an extraordinary journey, hitchhiking their way across the country, living off their wits and the generosity of strangers. Gradually they begin to warm to each other as Kikujiro instinctively takes them from one close scrape to another. But when they reach their destination, it is not the happy reunion Masao had hoped for so Kikujiro decides to cheer the boy up and their return journey is a time Masao will never forget.
This is a warm and moving film, from Kitano, who plays the older character in the story in which an older man takes a young boy in search of his Mother. The journey to find her does not end as they think, but the return journey with additional characters is in parts funny and emotional.
All this and a beautiful score which sounds like the music to a Tom Waits song, (yes really!), make this an indelible experience.