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The Eel (1997)

Cast: Koji Yakusho, Koji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, more...
Director: Shohei Imamura, Shohei Imamura
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: New Yorker Video
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Japan
Running Time: 117 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English, Japanese
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Veteran filmmaker and perennial iconoclast Shohei Imamura directs this darkly comic tale about love, redemption, and a man's beloved pet eel. The film opens with Takuro Yamashita (Koji Yakusho), a seemingly normal salaryman, learning that his wife might be having an affair. When he catches the couple in flaganto delicto, he freaks out and brutally stabs them both to death. Eight years later, Yamashita is released on parole into the care of a Buddhist priest living in rural Chiba prefecture. Far away from his former life, yet still plagued with memories of his crime, Yamashita decides to start anew by opening a barbershop on a quiet road next to a canal. Though inward looking and self-conscious, he eventually befriends a bumptious but good-hearted day laborer, and a construction worker who's obsessed with UFOs. His most fateful encounter though is with a woman named Keiko (Misa Shimizu), who he discovers unconscious following a suicide attempt. Looking to put a few of her own demons to bed, Keiko decides to stay in this sleepy corner of Japan and help her savior with his barbershop. Initially against the idea -- she bears a striking resemblance to his dead spouse -- he eventually agrees and even grows to like having her around. This film won the Grand Prix at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Special

Special Features:

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Cast and Director Profiles & Filmographies

You might also enjoy:

Warm Water Under a Red Bridge
Imamura's recent film is more comic, explores similar territory

Vengeance is Mine
1979 Imamura cult film is a dark, fascinating tale of a serial killer

GreenCine Member Reviews

I had fun by amoon July 22, 2003 - 6:40 PM PDT
9 out of 9 members found this review helpful
It took me a while to finally watch this movie. I think I was put off by the cover and I was expecting a very slow and serious drama about really heavy stuff. Much to my surprise it was a really funny, slow, serious drama concerning some heavy subjects. And when I say slow, I mean it's not like a typical Hollywood film with a lot of editing and everything comes together in a nice little package. Scenes are given more time to develop and allow the characters to develop and allow the viewer to create a connection with the characters. There are some really funny parts, and the movie even borders on the surreal at some parts, but overall it is a very enjoyable movie. I don't like to give away spoilers so I won't say much more about the film other than it is a great story, with great direction, and really good acting. Plus there's a reason this film won the Palm d'Or back in '97, so just go watch it. Trust me, you'll like it. If you don't you can e-mail me for an apology.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.12)
198 Votes
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Is this that British humor?
No, actually it's mostly Japanese film.
"If you like Croneberg you may also like... "
A random list of goodness with no particular theme -- really!

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