In a poor 19th century rural Japanese village, everyone who reaches the age of 70 has to climb a nearby mountain to die. An old woman is getting close to the cut-off age, and we follow her last days with her family.
Plastics salesman Oshima disappeared without a word to anyone, and has been missing for two years. Shohei Imamura and his crew follow Oshima's fiancé Yoshie and actor Shigeru Tsuyuguchi as they investigate the disappearance.
White-collar worker Yamashita finds out that his wife has a lover visiting her when he's away, suddenly returns home and kills her. After eight years in prison, he returns to live in a small village, opens a barber shop (he was trained as a barber in prison) and talks almost to no-one except for the eel he "befriended" in prison. One day he finds the unconscious body of Keiko, who attempted suicide and reminds him of his wife. She starts to work at his shop, but he doesn't let her become close to him.Written by
The Eel tells a story about a Japanese man who copes with his guilt after committing a crime. (I won't go into details on the crime, that's for you to find out) The way he does this is what makes this movie a great one in my book. Not only does he turn himself in after the crime (with a great way of response by the police) he even makes a friend out of an eel in prison. Hence the name of the movie. Once outside the prison he tries to build up a barber shop and get his life back on track.
The film is carried by its character interactions. Apart from these there is nothing else in this film, so for those who don't like dialogue don't bother with this film because you'll be bored.
For the others, who like a story carried by characters, this surely is a must. The only flaw for me was the presence of a quirky UFO nut, but that's minor.
And please watch the original version with subs and not some gruesome dubbed version. I never understood the appeal of a dub.
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