The Eel details
|Starring:||Koji Yakusho, Misa Shimizu, Mitsuko Baisho, Akira Emoto, Fujio Tsuneta, Sho Aikawa, Ken Kobayashi, Sabu Kawahara, Etsuko Ichihara /|
|Genres:||Drama, World Cinema|
|Studio:||FUSION MEDIA SALES|
|Run time:||1 hour 57 minutes|
|Rental release:||12 Mar 2012|
Most helpful review
wonderful, complex, satisfyingBy Pufferfyshe (18 reviews) from Oxford, England , 06 Mar 2007
[Highly rated reviewer]The Eel (Unagi) is a complex study in how social outsiders come to connect with each other. It's about redemption and forgiveness.
The main character, an ex-con who murdered his wife, negotiates a tense friendship with a gangster's mistress while trying to stay on decent terns with his parole officer (a Buddhist monk); the officer's (monk's) straight-talking wife; a fellow ex-con, now a rubbish collector; and a gaggle of odd neighbours, including one who is obsessed with alien landings. Our hero suffers flashbacks as he wrestles with his conscience. Eventually he and the mistress come to an agreement which must be seen to be appreciated.
All this, in and around a barbershop in distinctly scruffy-looking outskirts of urban Japan. It all may take some explaining but trust me, it's handled both gracefully and truthfully.
I saw this movie on a tiny screen while flying somewhere over Asia, and yet it completely hypnotized me. I can't imagine what it would be like on a good-sized home screen let alone in the cinema. The dream / flashback sequences are lurid without being tacky; colours are realistic and the action consistently takes place on a personal level. No pretentious shots, no escape from the Here and Now.
I had no idea Japanese cinema could be so frank. Watch it alone or in company, you'll want to talk about it either way, and definitely won't be disappointed. A+.
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An unusual filmBy StoryeBook (31 reviews) , 03 Oct 2013The Eel appears to be very strongly influenced by Korean cinema - the atmosphere, the cinematography, even the way the actors speak - as I don't speak Japanese or Korean I really thought it was Korean at first. The eel symbolises a lot of things or everything and nothing - its role both changes and stays the same throughout. The plot hangs on it and is completely independent of it. If I saw this film a hundred times, I believe I would still see new things in it. Fascinating.
Satisfyingly delightfulBy NunkyTed (29 reviews) , 01 Sep 2013Who among us has not, at some time or another, been sorely tempted to slaughter our nearest and dearest? I know I have. After such an uncompromisingly savage start though this delightful film unfolds with quiet dignity and gentle good humour to a feel-good finish.
A good oneBy Joseph76 (3 reviews) , 19 Mar 2013Good film! I highly recommend watching it. Good heart worming characters, interesting music. The ending is unfair as it so often happens in real life too.
Interesting movieBy Hikki (16 reviews) from London , 17 May 2012I find this movie very amusing ,is drama about the guy who comes out of jail after butchering his wife and his restart of new life .. very interesting and it surprises you every moment, it's quite old from 1997 feels a bit vintage but is worth watching if you like Japanese movies. This is not for a blockbuster lover though
You've GOT to be kidding me.By Onlyests (60 reviews) , 03 Apr 2012I don't know how many times I have to write this same review; but if you want to sound pretentious and like, you know, you watch way complex movies that are 'deep' and are so artistic, then this film will give you ammunition for your next dinner party where you seek to impress your friends with your knowledge of world cinema that they've never heard of.
IF, however, you are wanting to actually watch a good world cinema film, then you should avoid this one at all costs. Set in the late 1980s and 1990s the film is so poorly constructed that it has NO true story line or point of emphasis. Who really cares why the main character committed his crime in the beginning of the movie, there is absolutely no 'story' to be had in the movie. Honestly, read the other reviews of the movie and it will give you a sense of what the movie doesn't offer. 'Oh, what a complex piece of cinema that must be viewed to be appreciated'. Take this to be the words of an estate agent trying to sell you a house that's rubbish.
The movie makes no connections between its title and the whatever it presents in the film. The characters have no development, and there is no plot (no point where you want to get to in the movie). It has no resolution point, because there isn't one. You continually think that the movie MUST come to a clever bit of the story, but it never does. In the end, you know no-one in the movie, the point of the movie is mute (at best), and it has no resolution because there is no story line. I certainly won't be trying to impress my friends with this one.
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