Lust, Caution [Blu-ray]
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From two-time Oscar-winner Ang Lee, the acclaimed director of Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, comes this romantic drama starring the great Tony Leung (In the Mood for Love) with Wei Tang (Blackhat) and Joan Chen (The Last Emperor). Set against the backdrop of a transforming country, Lust, Caution tells the provocative story of a young woman (Tang) who finds herself swept up in a radical plot to assassinate a ruthless and secretive intelligence agent. As she immerses herself in her role as a cosmopolitan seductress, she becomes entangled in a dangerous game that will ultimately determine her fate. Erotic, breathtaking and suspenseful, this award-winning film was hailed by critics as “exquisitely beautiful” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) and “lushly sensual” (Leah Rozen, People).
-NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historian Eddy Von Mueller
-Tiles of Deception & Lurid Affections: Discover How Ang Lee's Passion Fueled Every Step of This Erotic Thriller -- From Recreating the Period to Directing the Talented Cast
-5.1 Surround & 2.0 Lossless Stereo
-Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
-Optional English Subtitles
- MPAA rating : s_medNC17 NC-17 (Adults Only)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 5.92 Ounces
- Director : Ang Lee
- Media Format : Anamorphic
- Run time : 2 hours and 37 minutes
- Release date : March 30, 2021
- Actors : Tony Leung, Joan Chen
- Studio : Kl Studio Classics
- ASIN : B08QW83FRF
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I think it's important to keep in mind that this story is based off a true story, from Chinese history as it dealt with the Japanese invasion, as well as WWII. Beneath all the politics of this time, a young drama student was able to lure a high-ranking official into the most intimate part of her and his life--and as an audience, we can hope they had a true connection. Although not expressive in a Western sense, this movie highlights the subtleties and highly coded symbols that mark the Chinese experience in this time of living: waiting in line for rations, desire over Western goods, majong to pass the time, and allegiance to home towns, and so on. Eileen Chang was often criticized for writing about 'trivial matters of women, sex, and relationships,' but these are the very markers of human existence and struggle--especially during a highly politically dangerous time.
In comparison to the short story (which I will admit I have only read the English translation, unable to gather my Chinese skills together), the Prime Minister and our beloved heroine are painted beautifully human. And as a cinematic, visual representation of a piece of literature, of words--to demonstrate this with images, sound, and through actors, I truly applaud the work.
Why was the movie controversial then? Because it discusses the pain and ambiguity associated with supporting the anti-Japanese movement, or any government during wartime, as a spy. It reveals the idealism, ineptitude, and utilitarianism inherent in the resistance movement, which is not something popular in this day and age. The film is built on a short story by Eileen Chang, which discusses the attitudes of capitalists in Shanghai after the occupation of the Japanese. The plot as it is, centers around a young woman drawing close with the aid of her inept but patriotic theater friends to the head of counterintelligence for the collaborationist Wang Jingwei government in Nanjing. In the end, the main character achieves her goal but loses her idealism and her life in the process.
This is probably the best and most honest war movie I've seen about the Eight-Year Anti-Japanese War (should I update that term?), and as one would expect, it is universally reviled by Chinese patriots. But it is well worth watching for the emotive and intense performances of Tony Leung and Tang Wei. Almost equally valuable are the excellent sets which truly revive the feeling of period HK and Shanghai.
Not a perfect piece of art - but something everyone interested in the period and the author or director must watch.
It is an amazing movie that portrays the history in such poignant ways that it begs your viewing. We need more movies like these.
This movie is dark as it should be given the darkness of the Japanese occupation of mainland China. The darkness of the movie was carried out by the primary actors, Tang Wei and Leung Chiu-Wai. Scenery and sets marvelous.
I highly recommend this movie for those who want to use a movie to gain insight into the Japanese occupation of mainland China in World War Two.
emerrell2 Avatar emerrell2
This is a beautifully produced Ang Lee war espionage film set in 1938 Hong Kong during the Chino/Japanese War and in 1943 Shanghai while WW II was in full swing. The film features some very explicit sex scenes which Lee believed were necessary to portray the espionage seduction of Chinese traitor, Mr Yee (Tony Leung Chu Wai) by young drama student, Wong Chia Chi (Wei Tang). It was a world wide box office and critical success - even here in America, in spite of its NC-17 rating. As the story develops, Chinese Nationalists have been frustrated in their attempts to assassinate an important Chinese official who has become a collaborator for the Japanese. Old Wu, who has lost his wife and two sons as well as two women who had attempted to seduce Yee, now recruits a troupe of drama students from Hong Kong University in yet another attempt to do away with Yee. Wong Chia Chi is chosen to befriend Yee, which she does by posing as Mac Tai Tai, the wife of Mak, befriending Yee's wife (Joan Chen) and her female friends, and then eventually befriending Yee himself. The film does a magnificent job of retelling the anguish of that time from an Asian perspective and is a brave commentary on how Asians respond to trauma, both personal and collective. Highly recommended...but be forewarned of the explicit sex scenes.
Top reviews from other countries
A group of Chinese drama students led by Kuang Yu Min (Wang Leehom) descide to take their fate and that of their country into their own hands, and after involvement in various rallys come up with a daring plot to infiltrate the home of the occupying head of Japanese intelligence. They have to pose as a well off family with Chaffuer (using the money of one of their Fathers) to gain accepance into the confidence of Mr Yee's (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) social circle, and that of his wife Yee Taj Taj (Joan Chen). They play a symbolic traditional game of Majong, a kind of dominoes over tea. Beautiful student Wang Jiazhi (Tang Wei) has to become Mr Yee's lover as they still can not get close enough to him for an assassination attempt. His police and bodyguards are ever present.
Uncompromising in crushing resistance, and uncompromising sexually, Yee surprises Wag Jiazi with his sadistic urgency. After being wined and dined and increasing sexual encounters, Wang Jiazhi loses sight of the original plan and falls in love. Yee expresses his regard for her with an enormous diamond and saphire ring allowing his feelings to take precedence over caution. In a remarkable scene in the double agent undercover shop, she warns him of the trap and he runs for his life to his car. She in turn decides not to take her suicide pill, but face the firing squad, with her fellow conspirators, an honourable death.
This is a beautiful, erotic, and tense film on a location where Ang Lee recreates his roots in 1942 Shangai in every detail including street cars, and cafes. It has the uncompromising characterisation of 'Broke Back Mountain', with the electrifying drama of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.' Mandarin is spoken throughout with subtitles in Castillian, or English, with bonus material of the cast and production team dicussing the making of the film. Highly recommended.
Yes, the emotions and lust take the front of the stage most of the time, but I was attracted to the historical setting. Collaborationists in Japanese occupied China facing agonizing struggles between survival and conscience. Their realization that all is lost after the American intervention in the war following Pearl Harbour is painful, but they have nowhere to go. Also the idealistic but amateurish youth in the heroic resistance movement are given the credit they deserve.
As for the lust and love part, I agree with most reviewers: it is a great movie, digging deep into human weaknesses. Both protagonists neglect their political duties to pursue their lust. Caution, in the end, is not enough...
A film which psychologically looking into love, lust and caution with a historic background.
Anyone who interested in its story background can find information about the history of Chinese assassins in late 19th to early 20th century. Also see hundred days reform and second Sino-Japanese War.
The assassins were mostly undergraduates and academics who in deep hate of corrupted government officials and weak leaders who signed unequal treaties with colonial foreign powers in order to gain personal power and advantage.
Tang Wei is outstanding, in my opinion.