Shigeru is a deaf-mute garbage collector who finds a broken surf board during a shift. This discovery leads him to wanting to surf. Despite the mockery of his neighbors, as well as other surfers, he gets support from his deaf girlfriend Takako, and looks forward to entering a tournament.
Incomparable with the two previous films that Takeshi Kitano made (Violent Cop and Boiling Point), A Scene At The Sea is the first movie which breaks with a lot of standards found in other films by the japanese filmmaker, mostly the fact that it isn't a crime/yakuza drama and that Kitano doesn't act in it. This movie also marks the beginning of a long series of collaborations between Kitano and Joe Hisaishi, who would go on to provide soundtracks for most of the movies made by Kitano during the 90s and the early 2000s.
This Film Provides Examples Of:
- Balcony Wooing Scene: Parodied. Shigeru plays the romantic trick of throwing pebbles at Takako's window. This is completely useless since she's deaf.
- Burial at Sea: More of a funeral played in a symbolic way. After finding out that Shigeru may have disappeared at Sea, Takako takes his board, sticks a picture of him and her on it, and leaves the board drifting into the sea.
- Cool Board: Averted at the beginning of the movie where Shigeru starts off his surfing career with a broken board which he fixes with weak attachments.
- Disabled Love Interest: This trope is doubled as both Shigeru and Takako are disabled.
- Dull Surprise: Shigeru and Takako. Especially Takako when she finds out that her boyfriend may have died at sea.
- I Have a Family: When a garbage man asks his colleague, who just got his paycheck, to buy him a drink, he responds by saying that he has three children to feed.
- Jerkass: The two guys who keep mocking and harassing Shigeru, as well as the group of the surfers who taunt Shigeru as he begins surfing.
- Lonely Funeral: Only Takako and the driver assist at Shigeru's symbolic funeral
- No Antagonist: Despite a couple characters who mock Shigeru and his ambition to surf (and later on, these characters start to behave well), you can't really point out a character with villainous intention in the movie.
- No Body Left Behind: When Takako goes to the beach to watch Shigeru surf at the end of the movie, she only finds his board and the feeling that he may have died at sea.
- Really Dead Montage: Plays after Takako finds out that Shigeru disappeared at sea.
- Sudden Downer Ending: Despite the fact that there's a peaceful mood (and no real villain) throughout the movie, it ends with Shigeru dying at sea, and Takako making a symbolic funeral with his board.
- Taught by Experience: Shigeru becomes good at surfing despite having a broken board to begin with.
- Those Two Guys: Two guys keep harassing Shigeru whenever he's out for surfing. Later on, they try to begin to surf but they don't learn as quickly as Shigeru.