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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
Eileen Chang first began writing the story in the 1950s. After being heavily revised by the author, it was eventually published in 1979. See more »
(at around 1 min) An Indian policeman wearing a red headband is seen directing traffic on the left side of the screen. When they park the car, the same Indian policeman has magically moved to the right side of the screen. See more »
A wolfhound brings out what Ang Lee so called "amuck atmosphere." This might not necessarily be Eileen Chang's intention, but Lee achieved his practical "masterpiece" through expressing his feel for this short story.
Just right before the task seems about going to end, Wang Jiazhi memorized, from an innocent college girl to a highly skilled actress and patriot, this extremely dangerous ambition kept circling around her mind and couldn't possibly go away may because of her ideal of doing something big and important, may because of proving that she's not only a puppet, or may because of a man that she can't get him out of her head.
A terrific ensemble cast. Tang Wei, who played the soul of the film, transformed herself into the leading character successfully through an unfamiliar face to audiences and has the acting of unattached perfection just like Zhang Ziyi. Though she got set up to get involved with this role by Lee, the result shows that her efforts worth every second.
The best performance of Tony Leung by far, every look and movement is very precise. Though it's also postmodern and the same kind of costumes, the effect is totally different from the images in Wong Kar Wai movies. Even he has been through several villain characters, the devotion and outcome that he put in this role is never been seen before.
As for the controversial sex scenes that gather all the spotlights, they all take important places in the film just as Lee said. Even there's no sign of sex in Chang's story. Except the power demonstration of the leading male role, Mr. Yee, Wang learned to use her sex power, the abreaction from the huge frustration of both their occupations and the struggle and joy they soaked in the functioning sex. They could very likely be the perfect match for each other that they can never find another one in this lifetime.
The second-time Mexican cinematographer for Lee, Rodrigo Prieto, French musician Alexandre Desplat, the senior Korean designer Lai Pan, and Lee's longtime partner editor Tim Squyres. The global combination achieved the great technical support besides the compelling story and the feast of performances.
The funny part is Lee chose short stories back to back for his film. The time line of the previous one goes across over 20 years. As for the latter one is just an afternoon. Sure it seems like a story in a decade, but after all they are the flashbacks of the leading female role.
This movie definitely goes beyond the achievement of "Brokeback Mountain," which is already very brilliant. While showing the conflict of sense and sensibility, it also pays tribute to a bunch of classics and the master creators which reflect the mind of the roles and are inherited such as "Casablanca," "The Godfather," "Suspicion," "Penny Serenade," "Last Tango in Paris" and "In the Realm of the Senses." This is not only the best screen adaptation of Chang to date but also a must-see of all time.
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