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Maggie Cheung is the Rose of the title, as first a girl who suffers a broken heart and then as a woman who only dares to love again ten years later. Her performance spans the spectrum from a spoiled and bubble-headed teenager, living a life of early '80s excess and breaking the hearts of men - married, single, she doesn't care - to that of a world-weary sophisticate. Cared for by her secretly seriously ill brother (Chow Yun-Fat), Rose falls in love with the wrong man and is ultimately spurned, leading to her world of self-satisfaction to crumble around her. Fleeing to Paris, she tries to forge a new life and identify for herself, never realizing that the one stabilizing force in her life, that of her brother, is about to be wrenched from her.
After her brother's death, Rose returns to Hong Kong, now a divorcee from a loveless marriage with a young daughter. Men are still interested in her because of her beauty and sorrowful poise but she does not allow herself to thaw... until she meets, by chance, the true love of her life - a man who could be her dead brother's identical twin (also played by Chow Yun-Fat).
This film is shamelessly sentimental, with beauty and sorrow as its central themes. It unfolds like a painted scroll and allows the viewer to take from it what he or she will from the glimpses into the hearts of its characters.
Written and directed by Yeung Fan, who is re-releasing this title from 1986 in a new and re-dubbed version. Unfortunately the new dub is with different actors, not simply a cleaned up audio. Try to find a copy of the original if you can, but even if not this film is worth watching at least once to see the ethereal Maggie Cheung and Chow Yun-Fat in a dual role.
The English subtitles on the version I have seen (subs by SBS) are excellent, probably the best subtitling work I have ever seen on a Hong Kong film. Correct grammar and spelling, good translation, with a readable font in yellow for clarity. If only all subs were this good!
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