Cold Fish (2011)
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Critic Reviews for Cold Fish
A deliciously warped wallow in misogyny, depravity and dead-eyed manipulation, "Cold Fish" charts the twisted alliance of two tropical-fish salesmen with baleful glee.
Cold Fish is wild, head-turning, stomach-churning stuff, and it makes a bracing addition to the overstuffed canon of serial-killer cinema.
Smart, devious, audacious filmmaking from a man who's quickly becoming a master at this sort of stuff.
Overlong? A tad. Still, at two-and-a-half hours it's 90 minutes shy of its predecessor Love Exposure. Insane fun? Absolutely. Darkly funny and deliriously absurd in all of its bloody glory, I found it impossible to look away.
The latest from Sono explores one simple man's search for balance alongside the gritty realism of the world of serial killers, making Cold Fish a movie that you won't soon forget.
Audience Reviews for Cold Fish
Twisted Japanese gore feat with a dysfunctional family. The Japanese do this stuff so well.
Cold Fish is a dank, dark and highly unlikable film...that I just so happened to really like. It sees a meek and feeble fish store owner, Syamoto, come into contact with a much more confident fish store owner, who gives his troublesome daughter a job. But things aren't as they seem once Syamoto is dragged through a world of sex, murder, disembowelment, business and crime. Syamoto is pushed to the very edge of his humanity by a group of depraved and sickening characters. Fortunately it's helmed by Shion Sono, one of the greatest handlers of dark material. He knows when to make us gag and when to make us laugh. We feel at ease with the material because it is so outside of our protected worlds (hopefully). The pace builds fantastically, from a slow beginning, as we are gradually pulled in to this grim reality, which is based on a true story. It looks at the role of men and women in society, and how the inability to handle emotions can spiral out of control. One of the most pleasant unpleasant watches of recent years.
After an excellent start, the movie failed to work for me as it went ahead. It just kept on getting worse. It's indeed an engaging thriller (based on real events) till it transforms into some sort of soft porno. The story didn't require this extent of graphic scenes, but that's my opinion (which highly matters, if not hardly). Besides, the time-stamp failed to work as a smart distraction. The twists are too predictable to be shocking; in fact, the effectiveness is negative. All that said, Denden's performance is incredibly superb. He holds it up amazingly even as the script falls apart. Won't be unfair to say that it's a terrific flick that goes terrible as it unfolds. Of course, just my opinion. Feel free to differ.
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