Sunday, 6 January 2008

Ang Lee's Lust, Caution

We went to see Ang Lee's controversial tale of wartime espionage in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, Lust, Caution, last night. The film is, as one would expect from the director, beautifully shot, and wonderfully evocative of middle class Shanghai and Hong Kong in the thirties and forties; the acting, especially by the gorgeous Tang Wei (left) as the conflicted resistance agent, Wong Chia Chi, is marvellous; the insights into a part of the war of which we know too little are suitably revealing; and the hype around the sexual scenes, though provocative, has been typically overdone. But in this tale of lust and betrayal, the real problem is with the film's length and plot: it is too long and too slight a tale to be one of Lee's masterpieces. It is, neverthless, a cinematic treat that is well worth a visit.

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