3 April 2004 | maricchie
Silly, erotic, and funny
Warm Water Under a Red Bridge directed by the prolific Shohei Imamura follows the life of Yosuke Sasano played by Koji Yakusho. The film has many rich layers and mythic qualities. After losing his job, Yosuke seeks advice from a vagrant wise man name Taro, played by Kazuo Kitamura. Taro ultimately sends Yosuke on a quest to find a hidden golden budda statue. Itfs not so much the statue thatfs important we learn when Yosuke travels to a small fishing village to a house beside the red bridge where we meet Saeko Aizawa who befriends Yosuke to releases her body of water from her very strange condition.
The filling water in Saeko body symbolizes her loneliness and her heaviness of heart to find someone in her life. The gag where Yosuke relieves Seikofs water is fun the first time but soon becomes repetitive. The characters in the story are disjointed from each other but this is not nessearly a bad thing since Imamura has so much to show us. For instance there is a subplot involving an African marathon runner which is used clearly for comic relief but and has nothing to do with the rest of the story. But its characters like this that adds multiple dimensions to the story that really make it memorable.
One thing that confused me was that there was a scene of Saeko almost drowned in the river when she was small and it makes audience imagine that it was probably the cause of flood in her body. However, in the end of the movie we will know that her grandma also had the same sexual predisposition contradicting the river scene.
Overall the film is worth watching for the quirkiness of the characters. A man who just lost his job, homeless people, fishermen, a senile old lady, an African marathon runner, there are a lot of unique characters in this movie. They are people at the bottom of the Japanese social pyramid and something we usually do not see in the movie. The story is a kind of silly, erotic, and funny. Although not a perfect film the fountain spewing sex scenes will be remembered for a long time.