The Eel


Time Out says

After a deceptively dark, brutal beginning in which Yakusho murders his adulterous wife, Imamura's Palme d'Or winner lightens up quite considerably to present an offbeat, occasionally even comic account of his reintegration into the world after eight years in prison. Unusually, it's the protagonist's own hesitancy and introversion that makes rehabilitation difficult, rather than society; indeed, the eccentric folk who frequent his remote barber's shop, and especially a young woman he saves from suicide, are mostly very supportive and helpful. Still, the past catches up with him, leading to a climax as violent, farcical and ultimately affecting as Imamura's cool, clear direction is subtle and assured.


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