17 January 2011

16 Jan - "But he's so cautious. He won't go into dark places"

Lust, Caution (2007)
dir. Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, 2005)

Wei Tang
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Leehom Wang

This movie is set in WW2-era Shanghai, and it's about a college drama club in 1940s China who discover and attempt to murder a high-level traitor collaborating with enemy Japan. The youngest member of the club, Wong, ingratiates herself with the traitor Yee's household and quickly becomes his mistress. The club gets drawn into the REAL resistance movement and the conspiracy deepens. Wong delves deeper and deeper into her make-believe role, rejecting her own true love for the farce of romance with the sadistic Mr. Yee. All of the heroes die.

You guys, this movie was super-sad. The heroine gave up everything to become the perfect spy, only to fall for her own act, and betray the people she swore to protect and die for. There's one part where the gang realizes that in order to carry on their scam, Wong is going to have to sleep with Mr. Yee. And so one of the other club members, the only one with any experience, is elected to show Wong how it's done. That's the part where Wong becomes a real outsider in the group, and her commitment to her alter-ego begins to overpower her own true self.

I think this was marketed as an "espionage thriller," I don't think that's right at all. I guess it's a "wartime romance," but a really twisted one. Lots of explicit sex scenes in here, but that's pretty much the name of the game with these foreign films. Plus, I think I watched the uncut version (it was 2:40 long)

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