Laden with festival awards, Shower is one of a new breed of Chinese films aiming to tell modern, urban stories. This contemporary fable relates how a businessman Da Ming (Zhu Xu) returns to the old-fashioned Beijing bathhouse run by his elderly father Liu (Pu Cun Xin). The pace of life is fairly relaxed for the regulars - - gossiping, drinking tea and racing crickets. Liu's health is fading, however, and property developers are closing in...
A tale of traditional values threatened by progress and of the need for reconciliation between generations, Shower is directed by pop video helmer Zhang Yang, who provides some smart visual flourishes.
Yet, despite calmly restrained turns from the two leads, the antics of the supporting characters prove tiresome and unfortunately dilute the film's emotional power.