I don't want to spoil this film for anyone at the moment, I would just like to say that it is worth watching, not just for the wonderful sets and for the haunting score but also for the fine acting performances of Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson and the rest of the Redgrave family, amongst others.
Its wonderfully restrained but still powerful and although it takes a little while to come together, as do so many good films, it does so quite beautifully and is well worth the wait. You might well learn something about people on this movie journey and at best you will enjoy a great work , albeit the last, from the Merchant/Ivory team. I fitting tribute to their genius. Go see it and make your own mind up.
In short a film of broken lives and broken souls, finding their way to live and love again, in very different ways, amid a backdrop of 1930's Shanghi on the brink of war. Let the film unfold for you, as it is meant to.