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Woman of Water (2002)
"Mizu no onna" (original title)

 -  Drama | Fantasy  -  4 May 2005 (France)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 245 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 8 critic

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Cast overview:
Ua ...
Hikaru ...
Yutaka Enatsu ...
Tadao Shimizu
Ryûichi Ôura ...
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Yuki ...


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female nudity | bath


Drama | Fantasy





Release Date:

4 May 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Gynaika tis vrohis  »

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User Reviews

Elegant, visually powerful, but still a near-miss
3 December 2004 | by (Jerusalem, Israel) – See all my reviews

She's water, he's fire, and if you expect to get more plot than this, forget it. This is very much a character and atmosphere piece, and the story that comes

together around Hidenori Sugimori's astounding visuals is powerful and well

told, without the typical (and western) dramatic elements that drive a narrative forward. The climatic scenes here are about texture, not tension.

I loved this film and felt it to be in the same strong but under-appreciated

showings of, say, Terrence Malick and David Gordon Green--filmmakers that

know something about light and sound and the importance of these to good

cinematic story telling. We should expect more from visual narrative, and Mizu No Onna doesn't disappoint; still, there's something missing here that takes

away from the elegance that might have been more fully achieved. I think it's in the attempt to find a beginning, middle and end to a story which should have

built quietly to an emotional intensity, then broke off, as happens in life.

Closure is a western psychological requirement (why denouement?); life is seldom so

neat. In trying to give too much mythic and story significance to its characters, the film undoes its own beautifully told story. The symbols of the Elements (fire, water) are everywhere, and they're not always given to us poetically. We're hit over the head with them, and more: we're given a village idiot, who will, in the best narrative tradition, foretell or undo; a strange demi-god. There's no need for any of this, especially since the visuals and sound do such a good job at giving over the story. Still, this is a powerful and successful effort.

Special mention goes to Yoko Kanno whose classically-drawn score completes

the powerful sight and sound experience.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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