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As far as Gong Li's character being a stereo-typical high-class asian prostitute, and that being a folly of Mr. Wang (as suggested by another review), I think something is being missed. The whole point of her character is that she represents that western (male) fantasty, and is therefore unattainable. Maggie Chueng is the other side of that coin. She is the REAL Hong Kong, although equally elusive. She even has her own "Jeremey Irons" (british boyfriend) that is to her unattainable. Get it?
The shots and camera work are unbelievable in this film. The atomosphere is %50 of it. It has an almost cyberpunk quality. The music, especially Dadawa, is awesome aswell. This is a multi-faceted work of art. By the way, the DVD has some great features!
Nothing else I have seen or read captures the poignant and slightly fevered atmosphere of Hong Kong in the months leading up to the 1997 handover. The relationship between John (Irons) and Vivian (Gong Li), and what we learn of Maggie Cheung's character's past relationship (?) with her schooldays English boyfriend, seem to mirror aspects of the political and cultural relationship between the British and Hong Kong Chinese. The ending is deeply moving.
This film is infinitely superior and almost entirely different in terms of plot, and indeed everything else, from Paul Theroux's disappointing novel, Kowloon Tong, that apparently inspired the makers of this film.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie was a little scattered for the first 3 quarters but gathered some steam toward the end and found enough focus to make itself worthwhile. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Steve
Irons lays flat on his back in this one. he plays a wobbling bowl of jello in love with a dish rag. no soy sauce no tamari no egg roll. this picture stunk from the get-go. Read morePublished 9 months ago by will crow
The movie is kinda blah. Not very watchable in my opinion. Wish it were better. I feel like I wasted my money.Published 22 months ago by LippyLoo
A great history lesson as well. I can watch this movie more than once when the time is right. I've worked in Hong Kong and the movie prompts me to get out my scrapbook and videos.Published 22 months ago by Charles R. Carlisle