Warm Water Under A Red Bridge review

Acting on the advice of a dying tramp, unemployed salesman Yosuke (Koji Yakusho) heads down to a small town on the Noto Peninsula, in search of a golden Buddha statue allegedly hidden in a house near the red bridge. Once there, the middle-aged man encounters the mysterious Saeko (Misa Shimizu), a young woman whose body secretes gallons of water when she makes love – a discharge which replenishes the local river.

Simultaneously a magic-realist love story, a portrait of provincial eccentricity and a generous tribute to female desire, this bizarre comedy-drama from veteran Japanese writer-director Shohei Imamura (whose entrancing drama, The Eel, picked up the Palme d’Or in 1997) also contains various quirky subplots. Composed and photographed with effortless assurance and appealingly acted by its romantic leads, Warm Water Under A Red Bridge may not possess the most subtle of governing metaphors, but it’s hard to resist a film which encourages its melancholic central character “throw yourself into lasciviousness”.

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Available platformsMovie