Kitano, because of significant criticism for the repeating themes in his works, determined to make a movie in a whole different level, without the reigning violence of his other works. Thus came Dolls, a motion picture based on the writings of Chikamatsu Monzaemon, a dramatist of Joruri, which is a form of puppet theater, who is widely accepted as the greatest Japanese dramatist.
Dolls consists of three dramatic love stories: Matsumoto and Sawago are getting ready to marry, however the pressure of his obligations drives Matsumoto to make a tragic choice. Hiro is presently a Yakuza boss (Kitano could not leave his favorite subject off), but thirty years before, he was simply a poor farmer in love with his girlfriend. She used to bring his lunch at a park every Saturday, the same park that he now decides to return to. Haruna is young pop star, idolized by her fans though unhappy, due to an accident that ruined her face. She curently spends her time watching the ocean, while Nikui, most likely her most dedicated fan cannot tolerate watching her being disfigured.
Kitano presents three stories bordering on the boundaries of despair, all of which have a tragic ending. His characters, in an unprecedented practice for the filmmaker, wander around a feast of colors and scenery, including the white of winter and the gray of autumn, in what is probably, his most technically accomplished work: Wonderfull cinematography by Katsumi Yanagishima, impressive costumes by Yohji