Himizu (18)

Sono Sion, 129mins. Starring: Shota Sometani, Fumi Nikaido

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Sion's rambling study of a germ-filled Japanese adolescence is wildly uneven in tone.

Shota Sometani is very impressive as the mixed-up 15-year-old kid Sumida, trying to cope with a low-life father and an errant mother while keeping the family boat business going.

There is also a feisty performance from Fumi Nikaido as the female classmate who reveres him. If Sion had concentrated on these two characters, the film would have worked well enough. Instead, he throws in portentous references to the Japanese tsunami and earthquake and a subplot involving gangsters and loan sharks.

There are also several very violent, very stylized fight sequences, all of which take place in the mud and rain.