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Frustrated in his attempts to assassinate Yee, who is an important official in Japanese-ruled Shanghai, Old Wu, who has lost his wife and two sons as well as two women who had attempted to seduce Yee, now recruits Kuang, Mai Tai Tai, and their troupe of drama students from Hong Kong University in yet another attempt to do away with Yee. Mai Tai Tai is chosen to befriend Yee, which she does by posing as the wife of Mak, befriending Yee's wife and her female friends, and then eventually befriending Yee himself. Even though both get together, they do end up going separate ways, only to meet again four years later. This time Mai is all set to entrap Yee at Chandni Chowk Jewellers which is owned by an East Indian man named Khalid Saiduddin. The question does remain: Will she and her troupe succeed? Written by
I resent that this movie is marketed as an "espionage thriller", or that it's a thematic follow- up to Brokeback Mountain, or that it got an R rating for its graphic sex scenes. It is much more than that. It is a film set in Asia, by an Asian filmmaker, with a special resonance for Asian moviegoers.
I think this is a very personal film for Ang Lee - betraying his private thoughts on his homeland, on sexuality, on truth, on love.
Here in Asia, one shared event in our history binds us all - the Japanese occupation during WWII and all the horrors that came with it.
To retell the anguish of that time through a torrid affair between a collaborator (traitor) and a spy is a brave commentary on how we Asians respond to traumas both personal and collective.
Mr Lee raises unearths some complex emotions towards identity and truth, as revealed in only the most intimate moments between illicit lovers in times of extreme duress.
That Lee chose to make such a film after his phenomenal success in Hollywood, and during this period of phenomenal progress for modern China, gives Lust Caution a heightened sense of relevance and urgency, a film that can potentially invite questions on what it deeply means to be Chinese, to be Asian.
Lee is a master, Tony Leung is divine, Tang Wei is a slow-burning revelation. I highly recommend this film to Asians and non-Asians alike.
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