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An espionage thriller set in the 1950s and adapted from the novel "Year Suan/Plot Against" by May Jia. Tony Leung Chiu Wai plays a blind man who works for a piano tuner. He is recruited for a spy mission because of his exceptional hearing.
Set in 1948 against the backdrop of Communism's rise, "Fei" is the story of two sisters--Fei and Ying--bound together by the will of their late father, a legendary business entrepreneur, and their shared love for a charismatic ex-boxer, Huang. They are two women whose paths have been dictated by the often cruel decrees of the men their lives--two women who must somehow transcend that influence...or lose everything. Written by
...there's a Fei. And a Ying Zi and good old Mr. Huang.
The pleasure in this movie is in the senses, with great visuals, artistic camera work and period western music.
Ying and Fei are half-sisters thrown together at the will of their father. Literally. Fei was his child by a maid who was subsequently dismissed, although Fei's schooling has been supported. At his death he stipulates a reconciliation (of sorts) before Ying may inherit the estate.
The story gains a stronger emphasis as the inevitable love triangle develops with Mr. Huang, Ying's "fiance". As in so many of these doomed relationships Mr. Huang wishes "I want them both" to which a friend says "then have them both, you're the man".
The plot features yearning for family and for affection, played out without one ever being sure of the authenticity; the characters' motives are sometimes stated but more often only indicated by a glance, a shift in posture or a change in framing, often exquisitely done.
The characters pursue their destinies (always with great visual style) while almost oblivious to the impeding doom of their society collapsing, their fates foreshadowing the great changes soon to take place in Mao's China.
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