Lust, Caution (Widescreen Edition) (2007) Review
(More customer reviews)Ang Lee breaks through again with a masterful adaptation of Eileen Chang's short story, Lust/Caution (like what he did with Annie Prolux's similarly brief story, Brokeback Mountain). While the hype seems to be mostly misplaced on the controversial acrobatics displayed by Tony Leung and Tang Wei in bed, Lee's storytelling leaves one breathless.
The love story unfolds against the backdrop of 1930's Japanese-invaded Shanghai where tyranny and suffering were synonymous. Nubile Wang Jia Zhi played by Tang Wei joins the resistance movement and gets herself drawn into the role of a spy to crumble the traitor, Mr Yee. In between the espionage and wild climatic trysts, both of them unknowingly embroil themselves in love and deceit, much deeper than they would have liked themselves to.
Tang Wei, as a newcomer to cinema, is impeccable. Her evolution from a wide-eyed country girl to a seductive temptress is enough to make the hardest of most men, in this case, the distrusting Mr. Yee fall for her. Wei acts pretty much on instincts and her body language does wonders at seducing the somewhat vulnerable Mr. Yee played by multiple-award winner Tony Leung. Wei breaks down in the memorable scene where she's talking to the resistance leader on her unyieldingly sacrificial role that is both a torment and insidious attack to her emotions.
As usual, Tony has the penchant for playing dark brooding men and in this instance, an evil Chinese traitor. He does not act. His presence already commands attention as the cynical no-nonsense minister. The pivotal sex scenes, split into three parts, are not just there for visual enhancement. They actually convey the shift in roles between the two throughout their complex relationship. The raw emotions displayed on their faces were enough to convince anyone hard-hearted to think twice about the essence of love. I must say these are some of the best bed scenes you'll ever witness on film.
Of course, the supporting cast of Joan Chen as Mrs Yee and Wong Lee-Hom as Tang Wei's resistance compatriot, Kuang Yu Min, is every bit just as spectacular. In the end, the story about love is bittersweet. You'll also see how fervent the resistance movement, which puts the enemy above self and others, was through Wang Jia Zhi's eyes. Lust Caution is 157 minutes' of rewarding watch that will linger on in your minds well after the credits roll. (A+)
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Provocative, thrilling and passionate, Lust, Caution is the daring new film from acclaimed Academy Award®-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Set against the backdrop of a transforming country,a young woman finds herself swept up in a radical plot to assassinate a ruthless and secretive intelligence agent. As she immerses herself in her role as a cosmopolitan seductress, she becomes entangled in a dangerous game that will ultimately determine her fate. Erotic, breathtaking and suspenseful, this award-winning film is being called "exquisitely beautiful" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) and "lushly sensual" (Leah Rozen, People).