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Suzhou River Review


Very Good
Extremely strange and unique Chinese film, Suzhou River tells the story of a motorcycle courier who befriends and later falls in love with a drug dealer's 16-year-old daughter, only to eventually go to jail after he kidnaps her for ransom, resulting in her leaping to her death in the titular river, a grungy waterway through Shanghai. Years later, after a jail stint, our antihero finds himself drawn to a lounge dancer/swimmer who uncannily looks like his old flame (and is played smashingly by the same actress, Xun Zhou). Voyeuristic (including a nearly four-minute, unbroken scene as the messenger watches the singer get dressed for the night) and dark, the film isn't for everyone, but its poetry is uncommon. Imagine Blade Runner set in the recent past and in a much less interesting locale.

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