Though technically a Japanese production, this is, in virtually every respect, a Chinese film, the product of a Chinese filmmaker who has lived for 12 years in Tokyo. The blend of Beijing Opera and a highly melodramatic and unstructured narrative is consistently frustrating and uninteresting, dooming this item to the most marginal unspoolings.
Though there are periodic opera scenes, performed in what looks like a studio-constructed forest, the bulk of the film is a three-hander involving a debt collector, an indebted poet and the latter’s girlfriend, who is dressed like an officer in the Chinese military. Action seems to have started before the film actually begins, as the debt collector has already handcuffed himself to the poet. An interminably long sequence in the poet’s house follows, during which little in the way of a comprehensible plot-line emerges. Apparently a film about the corrupting influence of money, pic is both obtuse and unfathomable, and prompted mass walkouts at the screening caught.