Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
The plot: After spending eight years in prison for murdering his philandering wife, a man returns to society and opens a barbershop with only his pet eel as company. He stumbles across a woman who has apparently attempted to commit suicide, and in gratitude she offers her services at his shop. He doesn't want anything to do with her, but eventually it becomes him vs. her half-psychotic former boyfriend (in a subplot involving her loony mother and some stolen money that's as stupid as it is unedifying).
The main problem with "The Eel" is not the premise, which is fine, but the way the movie is set up and played off. The writing and directing (and in many cases the acting) are staggeringly bad, so much so that I felt flat-out pity for Imamura. I suspect he had an idea that he simply was not capable of doing justice to properly, and compromised somewhere along the way.
So what kinds of mistakes are made? Example: Takuro is shown goose-stepping in prison as part of the routine. When he's released, he follows his parole officer a little too closely, and with a walk that's reminiscent of the goose-step without actually being that way. The parole officer asks him what's wrong. So far, so good. But then Imamura destroys the moment by forcing a shot of other prisoners goose-stepping, and even goes so far as to give us a voice-over explaining what was going on. It's as if he doesn't trust himself or his audience to figure anything out.Read more ›
The guy gets only 8 years for murdering his wife. Then, during his parole, he was mean (by rejecting the lunchbox she made for me twice) and unsocialable but the girl still threw herself at him. All he had to do was dish out some kindness once in a while, and the girl was hooked. Men's fantansy if you ask me, but perhaps it reflects the Japanese way.
If the roles of male and female were reversed, would the movie still work? I think not.
Based on the VHS version.
Most recent customer reviews
The Eel is a very enjoyable, often humorous and contemplatively paced (read:slow... but not unbearably so) movie. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2003 by fat_runner
A very moving film full of quiet depth and both powerful and provocative emotions. In a word, this film is sensational.Published on Dec 6 2002