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

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

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.