Warm Water Under A Red Bridge

Warm Water Under A Red Bridge


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

There is something uniquely weird about this movie. Loose threads flutter in the wind. What is going on? Or rather, why?

Shohei Imamura is a Japanese director who made the award winning The Eel and the wonderful Dr Akagi. His reputation, alone, demands respect. And yet Warm Water meanders aimlessly towards a sentimental conclusion, introducing eccentric characters along the way who are never followed up.

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An unemployed businessman (Koji Yakusho) is told by an educated tramp, who lives under tarpaulins in the street, about a gold buddha he hid in a house beside a red bridge in a small town outside Tokyo and when he dies unexpectedly the businessman travels to the small town and discovers the house beside the bridge and searches for the treasure, but can't find it.

He finds Saeko (Misa Shimizu), instead, a woman with an odd affliction. She fills up with water and when she's full, she leaks, and there is only one way to express the fluid and that is by making love. Yosuke, the businessman, becomes her sexual plumber.

That's it. End of story. Yosuke's married, but his wife is the nagging type, who calls him a loser because he can't get a job. They talk on the phone and she's always complaining about money and he looks diminished and apologetic. Not like after a session with the human geyser.

There is a sub-plot, one of many that doesn't go anywhere. Yosuke is the splitting image of Saeko's previous lover, who was a fisherman who drowned at sea. And guess what? Saeko takes a job as a fisherman.


Reviewed on: 27 Mar 2002
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An unemployed Japanese businessman has an affair with a girl who leaks water.
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Director: Shohei Imamura

Writer: Motofumi Tomikawa, Shomi Imamura, Daisuke Tengan, based on the novel by Yo Henmi

Starring: Koji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baisho, Kazuo Kitamura, Mansaku Fuwa

Year: 2001

Runtime: 119 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Japan/France


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