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After a surreal and dreamlike opening in which a man loses his fiance to a tragic accident, the film settles into the main story line. The man (a solid Leon Lai), now unhappily attached in an arranged marriage, can't relinquish the spirit of his true love. But his current wife (a radiant Rene Liu) has genuine feelings for her husband. When approached by the restless spirit of the other woman (Fan Bing Bing), Liu forms a tentative partnership to try to bring peace and lightness into Lai's life. But as joy starts to creep back into the man's world, both of his loves seem to be waging a battle for his affection. Only one problem--both have to do it through the corporeal presence of the lady with an actual body! Things get decidedly more bleak as it becomes clear that co-existence is no longer a viable proposition.Read more ›
Sansan, Manli, and Junchu form an odd and tragic triangle. Despite his treatment toward her, Sansan genuinely loves Junchu; there's also more of a connection between them than Junchu realizes. For his part, Junchu seems to resent Sansan just for being alive; his entire existence without Manli is misery.
The two women couldn't be more different. Manli is accomplished, sophisticated, and vibrant--red is her color, and when she contacts Sansan, she literally descends to the frightened young woman. Sansan is timid, naïve, and demure. Even before Manli appears, Sansan is more like a ghost than the dead girl, whose presence is everywhere.
Both women seem concerned only about Junchu's happiness, and they form an almost sisterly bond. Manli coaches the innocent, yet slowly receptive, Sansan on how to be more appealing to Junchu--mainly, by being more like Manli. It seems to work: Junchu and Sansan grow closer, he begins opening up to her, and it looks like they might have a future. It never occurs to Sansan that his change of heart isn't because he feels warmer toward her, but toward a person she's pretending to be.
But Matrimony is a ghost story and, ostensibly, a horror movie; while there's been an eerie feel to it all along, at this point, Director Hua-Tao Teng decides to go for scares. It was inevitable, but, unfortunately, it feels more like an inevitability than a natural progression.
It's kind of a shame--the "horror" segments are the weakest parts of the film.Read more ›
The film opens with a lady relating a drama in front of a microphone at a radio station (the time frame is supposedly the 1930s). The scene switches to downtown where Shen Junchu (Chinese heartthrob Leon Lai) waits one the street until he spies his beautiful girlfriend Xu Manli (the very beautiful Bingbing Fan) riding on her bicycle towards him. Obviously both are excited to see each other and Manli drives into traffic and is killed; the shocked Junchu drops the little gift he had for Manli - an engagement ring. In the next scene we find the hardened sad Junchu in his home, having been forced by his mother Rong Ma (Songzi Xu) to marry the girl Sansan (Rene Liu) to assuage his devastation over his loss of Manli: Juncho merely tolerates Sansan and forbids her to enter the attic where he has stored all of Manli's earthly belongings. In her despair Sansan finds a key to the attic, enters it and discovers the ghost of Manli. A pact is made whereby Manli will assume the body of Sansan.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Director: Hua-Tao Teng
A tragedy of lost love is creatively interwoven throughout this suspenseful and chilling ghost story.
Incredible transfer. Read more
After a friend loaned me her copy and sitting through it, I have now added it to my wish list.
The cinematography is brilliant, mesmerizing images that match the sound... Read more
[MATRIMONY - (2006) - Widescreen presentation - Mandarin with English subtitles] Fans of today's crop of horror films as well as J horror will likely be disappointed with this... Read morePublished on November 11, 2011 by 4-Legged Defender
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