Shanghai, the 1880s, four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (the madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The men gather around ... See full summary »
Shanghai, the 1880s, four elegant brothels (flower houses): each has an auntie (the madam), a courtesan in her prime, older servants, and maturing girls in training. The men gather around tables of food, playing drinking games. An opium pipe is at hand. The women live within dark-paneled walls. The atmosphere is stifling, as if Chekov was in China. The melancholy Wang is Crimson's patron; will he leave her for the younger Jasmin? Emerald schemes to buy her freedom, aided by Luo, a patron. Pearl, an aging flower, schools the willful Jade, who thinks she has a marriage agreement with young master Zhu. Is she dreaming? Women fade, or connive, or despair. Written by
I have to disagree with the previous poster on this film, I thought it was fantastic and moving. It tells the stories of a set of turn-of-the century courtesans and their client in Shanghai. About 20 characters revolve in and out, yet the director has expertly chosen to focus on key moments and conversations. The movie never leaves the internal rooms of the brothels or "flower houses", and you feel a sense of the entrapped social circumstances that ensnares all the characters. The cinematography is beautiful, taking advantage of low-lighting and inner spaces.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?