Suzhou River
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Recalling both Vertigo (1958) and Chungking Express (1994), Chinese director Lou Ye spins this riveting tale of obsession and love. The film opens with shots of the Suzhou River, which is clogged with the detritus and pollution of a rapidly expanding Shanghai. The film focuses on motorcycle courier Mardar (Jia Hongsheng), who specializes in black marketeering and is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to shuttle his young attractive daughter Moudan (Zhou Xun) to her Auntie's every day while he entertains hookers. Though at first the youth resists his precocious passenger's advances, the… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The showy jump cuts and off-kilter close-ups belie an extremely well edited, even supple, piece of work."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"A compelling story of love and obsession..."
‑ David Rooney, Variety
"The ambiguity of its story and its lush, painterly images give the film a dreamlike quality, but it taps deep into the soul of genuine, soul-aching romantic longing."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Its visual style is gritty... and yet there is also a sense of the fantastical and of an achingly lush romanticism."
‑ Beth Accomando,
"A strangely obessive love tale from the 35-year-old Chinese director Ye Lou."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"This is well worth checking out."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Lou Ye lays out a ravishing wasteland of femmes fatales and lovelorn tough guys -- all in 79 minutes."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"Gorgeous, enigmatic movie that probably adds up to very little, but Ye is a tantalizing imagemaker."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"Needlessly incoherent, and not much fun."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"A strong but gentle film about identity, neediness, and desire, as well as our ability to re-invent the world to suit ourselves."
‑ Michael Thomson,
"This atmospheric film, even with its self-conscious style, is a show of major talent by Lou."
‑ Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
"An assured exercise in high cinematic style, it references a variety of films and filmmakers -- Alfred Hitchcock not the least of them -- but what it is preeminently is alive and dynamic."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"An appealing little show-off of a movie by a young first-timer practicing his licks."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The first half of this movie is an obvious imitation of Vertigo - right down to the adapted Bernard Herrmann music - but it always feels fresh and original in spirit."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"A seductive and atmospheric conundrum that works pleasingly as an exercise in storytelling."
‑ Lizzie Francke, Sight and Sound
More reviews for Suzhou River on Rotten Tomatoes