The River (He liu) (1997)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Xiao-Kang, a young man who lives a dismal life with his parents in their small Taipei apartment, develops a terrible pain in his neck which no doctor, nor cure can seem to relieve. His mother is having an affair with a man who pirates pornographic videotapes, while his father is pursuing a solitary quest for pleasure in the city's gay bathhouses. Somehow, Xiao-Kang's pain seems to reflect the problems of each of his parents, and the solutions to each seem connected also, in a way that is not rationally explicable. … More
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Critic Reviews for The River (He liu)
The River is difficult and unpleasant at times, but as a somber metaphor for contaminated lives, it's masterful.
Tsai is so adept at pacing and mood, and so good at capturing a sense of yearning, that his film draws us in despite its unusually long takes and sparse cutting.
The result is a stunning surreal film that remains unexplored in all the mysteries it holds, just like the river that flows in the city.
Too murky and long to swim in.
Audience Reviews for The River (He liu)
some don't like tsai's pacing but i have found him mesmerizing and this is certainly no exception. and while many considered it bleak, i saw it more as a black comedy. i'm watching tsai's films in order which isn't strictly necessary i guess but i do believe there is an overarching narrative and this is an important piece of the puzzle. to be continued...More
A very hard film to watch while at the same time riveting, here is a somber look at the modern family, where no one shares the same interests, everyone lives separate lives except for the occasional meal or two. The roof is leaking and getting worse and no one knows why ... a disturbing work, and for adults only.More
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