What appears to be a setup for a thriller gradually disintegrates, and Mariko Okada leads the viewers into an abstract and suspended universe. Yoshida successfully sustains the intensity throughout. I was especially enthralled by the second half of the film, which was pure cinematic spectacle. I wonder what the "lake" in the title suggests...?
The opening scene is breathtaking, but then my expectations were squashed by the rather lame, standard storyline. The second half reminds one of Antonioni but the sophistication stops at its view of women, which is strictly XIX century. The arthouse trimmings and skewed narrative effectively engaged me as long as they made me forget what was actually going on. Once you return to make sense of it, it all falls apart.
So close to a bona-fide masterpiece in my eyes; maybe the overt comparisons with Antonioni's work, tainted the experience, as well as the platitudinous score prevent it from making that last step. Nevertheless, this film is brimming with true filmic intensity, that one rarely sees (or feels) in "narrative" cinema.