The River (1997)

"OK"

The River (1997) Review


Poor Xiao-Kang (Kang-sheng Lee). He went for a swim in a dirty river and now he's got a massive pain in the neck.

Xiao's attempts to fix that pain amount to the bulk of The River's running time, and you'll have to be an extremely patient film critic to suffer through Tsai Ming-Liang's (What Time Is It There?) ponderation on... well, nothing in particular.

Shot with his signature long, long takes and wide, wide angle lenses, we follow Xiao as he cranes his neck to one side, fails to get chopsticks-to-mouth, visits countless witch doctors in search of a cure, and has sex with his rotund father. What a sec -- huh!? Either Tsai is trying to blame Xiao's neck problems on a totally screwed up incest situation or he's gone insane. Either way, it's not really a movie that exactly grabs me by the brain stem.

To be sure, Tsai's camerawork and narrative restraint are unique and admirable -- and the film is compelling in a strange, abstract, slightly conceited sort of way -- but his sheer lack of a story here is baffling. Endless visits to chiropractors, acupuncturists, and shamans just do not a plot structure make. As for poking dad in the interim, well that's just sick.

Aka He liu.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.