Archive for October 17th, 2012

Woman Of Water (2002)

Ryo has always had an affinity with water. Ever since she was young, important events in her life have been accompanied by rain. She runs a bath-house with her fiancĂ©, until one day, during a rain-storm, he is killed in a car crash. Ryo becomes solitary and isolated, and the bath-house is closed. One day, however, she returns home to find a strange man, Yusaku in her house. A pyromaniac by nature, his love of fire proves to be very useful to Ryo as he enlists him to keep the bath-house’s furnace running. The pair soon enter into a love relationship, and the bath-house flourishes once more. However, Yusaku has a dark past, which threatens to resurface and destroy everything.

The idea for the storyline is Ryo representing the element water and Yusaku representing the element fire can be destructive on their own but together they can keep each other under control and be useful to society. This is a movie where the exquisite cinematography takes precedence over the storyline. The viewer is presented with stunning images over the course of the movie. It’s the visuals that propels the movie forward. Hats off to cinematographer Hiroshi Machida for his work here and the brilliant colours he employs especially deep blue. The plot itself is a character study of two contrasting people drawn together. The pace is achingly slow, there’s not a lot of dialogue and nothing much happens until the final 20 or so mins. It’s what I would call a curiosity art movie and there are some weird surreal stuff going on – check out the irate man on the mobile phone scene. There’s even a mute bag lady character who lives with some chickens. The relationship between Ryo and Yusaka is rather odd and confusing as well. Here we have a woman who’s nearly raped in a cave and we have to believe that she suddenly falls in love with her attacker. Many scenes throughout the movie feature rain…………a lot of rain!! Just running at over 2 hours, the movie is a good 30 mins too long.

This was Japanese musician UA’s debut role in a movie and whilst her acting is decent enough, it felt to me that the director was more interested in getting her naked at every opportunity. UA may have been brave to take on a role which required her to strip a lot but after numerous scenes showing her naked you just feel like telling her to put her clothes back on! Tadanobu Asano gives his usual strong performance though the script doesn’t give him a lot to do. There’s hardly any character development going on. I would have liked to have known more about Ryo’s strange connection with rain.

All in all, if you like seeing pretty images this movie may interest you but the story is rather weak and you won’t really care about the lead characters.

Can’t find a trailer I’m afraid.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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