Three separate stories of love, desire and/or obsession are presented. “The Hand” tells of the desire that builds in the several years long largely professional relationship (his profession) between Xiao Zhang, the apprentice to tailor Mr. Jin, and Ms. Hua, a prostitute, the two who meet when he is first sent to take her measurements for a new dress. Sexually inexperienced, that meeting awakens Zhang’s sexual desires. The story takes place during a phase of Ms. Hua’s life when she becomes ill, making her unable to work and thus live to the style to which she is accustomed. In “Equilibrium”, Nick Penrose is having his first session with Dr. Pearl, a therapist, Nick’s anxiety and thus want to see a therapist probably due to a combination of starting a new project with his colleague Hal in their job as advertising executives, and a recurring dream he is having about a woman who he doesn’t know but knows in the dream, that woman who is not his wife, Cecelia. These issues may be at play …
User Reviews: The initial concept for making this film was to offer three variations on the theme of love from three directors from three cultures. Or is the title ‘Eros’ more about the erotic than about love? Question unanswered by this triptych of minor works by some superb directors. The end result seems to be three streams of conscious thoughts looking for a reason to make it to the screen. With the brilliance of the three directors one would expect far more than the film delivers.
Wong Kar Wai presents the strongest of the three films in a dark story about a tailor who sublimates his desire for a courtesan (Gong Li) by making clothes for her – a ‘servant’ who finally reverses his role. The photography and interweaving of the characters is very beautiful to experience.
Steven Soderberg makes a testy little script about an ad man (Robert Downey, Jr) in therapy with a bizarre psychiatrist (Alan Arkin) exploring a recurring sensual dream. Shot is black and white the actors give it their all but the story is silly and becomes boring with all the distractions Soderberg works into the weak plot.
Antonioni attempts to breathe life into the old Italian movies of lover’s spats and diversions and comes up with what feels like a script-less little mess of a movie bent solely on see-through blouses and nude cavorting on beaches.
As a triptych the film just doesn’t become airborne, despite some very high powered, first rate directors. Much ado about very little. Grady Harp