Fleur is the blue angel in one of Hong Kong's "flower houses" - bordellos and night clubs of the 1930's. A detached and beautiful performer, she falls in love with Twelfth Master Chan, heir...
See full summary »
A typical everyday HK movie fan Wing idolizes the beautiful female singer Rose and her producer Sam as the fairy tale couple. By chance she posed as an amateur male singer and moves in with... See full summary »
Ning Tsai-Shen, a humble tax collector, arrives in a small town to carry out his work. Unsurprisingly, no-one is willing to give him shelter for the night, so he ends up spending the night ... See full summary »
A romantic Chinese New Year comedy about the three Shang brothers. Eldest brother Shang Moon is a philandering businessman who treats his hideous yet hard-working wife like dirt. Middle ... See full summary »
A parody of Louis Cha's novel The Eagle Shooting Heroes (thats the literal translation). Story begins with the Queen of Golden Wheel Kingdom had an affair with her cousin West Poison, and ... See full summary »
The sensitive swordsman Cho Yi-Hang is tired of his life. He is the unwilling successor to the Wu-Tang clan throne and the unsure commander of the clan's forces in a war against foreign ... See full summary »
In this installment of a phenomenal saga of the super natural, four young people are caught in a tug-o-war of evil between an Imperial Wizard and a corrupt General. Outrageous special ... See full summary »
A father's ex-girlfriend resurfaces after a 10-year absence wanting to take her son away from him. With his world shattered, he must decide between what is best for his son and his own future happiness.
Fleur is the blue angel in one of Hong Kong's "flower houses" - bordellos and night clubs of the 1930's. A detached and beautiful performer, she falls in love with Twelfth Master Chan, heir to a chain of pharmacies. They agree to a suicide pact. Jump ahead 50 years to modern Hong Kong: Fleur's ghost appears in Yuen's newspaper office, wanting to place an ad to find Chan, who never arrived in the afterlife. Yuen, and his equally bewildered girl friend, An Chor, are captivated by Fleur and her story. Written by
Haunting and hypnotic, a beautifully understated classic
Sometimes films just take your breath away. This is one of them, for me. I first saw it when it aired on Channel 4 in the UK in the early 90's and then recently managed to pick up a copy on video. After all these years, it's lost none of the impact it had on me when I first saw it.
"Rouge" tells the story of two doomed lovers in the early 1930's. He is a high class gentleman, Twelfth Master Chan Chen-Pang, the heir to three successful medicine stores. She is Fleur, a famous courtesan. His parents disapprove of both his choice of lover and also his passion for the Cantonese opera. They are horrified when he decides to give up the shopkeeping business in favour of becoming an actor and immediately order him to return to the family. So he and Fleur take their own lives, vowing to meet up in the afterlife and be together forever. Fifty years later, her ghost returns to the world of the living, still searching for her beloved Twelfth Master.
On the surface, it's a traditional Chinese romantic ghost story but there's far more lurking underneath. Essentially "Rouge" is a lament on a bygone age of pre-Westernised China, a yearning for a return to the old values, traditions and passions that are now lost beneath the neon lights and soulless rush of modern-day Hong Kong. It's also a lonesome mediation on the nature of trust and the complexity of human relationships with a tragic punchline and a strong sense of alienation running throughout.
Deeply melancholy, loaded with ravishingly beautiful imagery and haunting performances from the two gifted leads (Anita Mui and the ever-mesmerising Lesley Cheung), "Rouge" is an unforgettable, understated and utterly unique piece of filmmaking. A very strange, subtle blend of genres that floats around the mind long after the end credits have finished rolling. 9 out of 10.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?