Underwater Love – Kappa, anyone?
A rather curious tale of rekindled love that carries profound morals, ‘Underwater Love’ envisages the Japanese folklore of ‘Kappa’ and their intertwining with local culture. To cut a long story short a woman meets a long-lost lover in the bizarre kappa form. Their subsequent affair that follows clashes with kappa law, as well as the very rule of nature and death. Underwater love also happens to be a ‘pink film’, a kind of film that attract a more niche audience
I found it hard to pin this film into one genre or another (Other than strange soft-core pornography I could not decide what else to class it as), some would call it a comedy whilst others would call it a musical. Perhaps it was unintentionally funny, the crude scenes and references to ambiguous sexuality surely had something to do with it.
For a first-timer of East Asian cinema this can be something of a tricky experience, leaving you confused or perhaps a little dumb-struck, it’s not always in a good way either. I for one was left speechless after coming along to the UK premier in London, but it served me well to overlook the somewhat sketchy narrative or costume department and appreciate the free-flowing cinematography that guided the picture through and through.
The master work of Christopher Doyle reflects his eccentricity, as well as his veteran attention to detail. So the strange musical genre twist may not pull you in, but any good film buff would be attracted to the visuals. Bright vivid colours reflect the upbeat (if not hyperactive) nature of the film, and with that comes a taster into exciting and alternative culture of East Asian Cinema.
An intriguing first experience, one I will not soon forget. Under water love was a trip into the wilder side of the East Asian film experience…