- Takeshis' progresses through the nested storyline of the dual protagonists, Beat Takeshi and Mr. Kitano (both played by Kitano himself). Beat Takeshi, a prominent actor, meets a look-alike named Mr. Kitano, who is a struggling actor. After the meeting, Mr. Kitano's dreams take a violent, surreal turn.
The film opens with a nightmare vision. American soldiers with carbines move down the fallen base filled up with bodies of Japanese combatants. One of dying combatants appears to be (Beat or Kitano) Takeshi. This opening scene is followed by the gun battle of a yakuza film where one of the protagonists, 'Beat' Takeshi, plays the principal role. Flashbacks of this gun battle are frequently used throughout the film.
'Beat' Takeshi is a showbiz star. He lives through business in film studio and TV stations where main casts appear in one of their dual roles (Takeshi's Girlfriend (Kotomi Kyono), Takeshi's Manager (Ren Osugi), and Takeshi's former partner of stand-up comedy (Susumu Terajima).
The first appearance sequence of 'Beat' Takeshi also introduces some repetitive motives of Takeshis'. (The worm in a bouquet, a female impersonator of Kabuki (Taichi Saotome), tap dancers in a rehearsal set, Akihiro Miwa (a transvestite chanson singer), a pair of fat twins, and dialogs at a ramen restaurant repeated later in varied situations.)
Mr. Kitano, the other protagonist, appears in a clown costume among the guys in a wardrobe of TV station. Mr. Kitano is an everyman, obsessed with his appearance identical to 'Beat' Takeshi. When two Takeshis encounter for the first time, Mr. Kitano seeks his heartthrob charisma's autograph. 'Beat' Takeshi gives the autograph to him ironically.
Kitano, earning a living as a convenience store clerk, never get ahead as an actor. He begins to fantasize himself as 'Beat' Takeshi in daydreams. Fragments of surreal dream crosses over into his life. We see bizarre things accompanied by dead bodies on the road while he is moonlighting as a taxi driver.
Kitano then happens to pick up a gun at a yakuza quarrel. He shoots first his yakuza neighbor (Susumu Terajima), and begins to kill people around his world. The film implies it is some kind of a dream, showing deceased guys appear again in blood and yell alive normally. Kitano takes out his female neighbor (Kotomi Kyono) and commits a bank robbery. Accomplishing his fantasies of acting like a movie star 'Beat' Takeshi, Kitano takes a journey into the absolutely bizarre, surreal world (an underground nightclub, night gun battles, and the catastrophe at a Boiling Point-, or Sonatine-like tropical island).
Cut suddenly back to Kitano's real life where he is still confused himself and 'Beat' Takeshi. He finds the movie star's autograph greeting, "Hello Mr. Clown!". It triggers 'Beat' Takeshi's assassination by Mr. Kitano. Cut suddenly again back to a close-up of 'Beat' Takeshi, which implies all of the film might be a dream of 'Beat' Takeshi. The film ends with flashback images of an American Soldier and the gun battle of a yakuza film at the beginning.