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Top Customer Reviews
In addition, as is true for Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Barren Illusion (not available domestically on VHS or DVD), the director peppers the film with references to Western culture that have pervaded the culture of Taiwan; the implication is that this counts in large part for Vicky's alienation and, by extension, that of her friends who are also bar girls and also that of her boyfriend, Hao Hao.
Hsien uses time splicing to tell his story and this is a subtle use indeed. We see a back and forth of events, some of which Vicky narrates in voiceover, some of which she does not. She goes to Japan to find her new boyfriend Jack after she breaks up with Hao Hao; Jack is a gangster, another oblique reference to Western culture that has corrupted, or at least changed Taiwanese culture. But she also goes there to find two brothers, whose names escape me at the moment, who are half Japanese and half Taiwanese. While there, the camera languidly passes by a long series of posters illlustrating movies both Western and Asian alike. This is Hsien's way, no doubt, of indicating the context of this film itself; it is, after all, only a movie. Or maybe it is, more than anything else, a movie. Who can tell?
Hsien is known for his seemingly ambling, plotless style, and this film is no exception.Read more ›
The main character of this film is Vicky (Shu Qi), and "Millennium Mambo" is just a way to allow her to tell her story, in her words, from a very subjective point of view. Vicky is an extremely beautiful young woman that lives in Taiwan and doesn't have a clue regarding what to do with her life. But is that her fault, or is that loss of direction something that has to do with the spirit of our time? And why does she make us care?
I should point out that this movie doesn't end neatly, so those who only like that kind of ending won't find it here. "Millennium Mambo" is open-ended, in more or less the same way that Vicky's own story is in the process of changing and doesn't have real fixed limits. I find that fitting, at least for this movie, and I think that you will deem it appropriate too. Recommended!
- Belen Alcat, June 2007 -
PS: I give this movie 3.5 stars out of 5 :)
Actually the walkaway exists in reality. It is in Keelung, a city on the border of the ocean. The girl exists also in reality, and she is from that city, too. One evening, in a bar in Taipei, she told Hou Hsiao-Hsien her story, talking about herself at the third person, and with the same detachment as the personage from the movie.
Why did she tell her story to the filmmaker? I think because Hou Hsiao-Hsien is a good listener, and people feel confidence and sympathy in good listeners. The movies of Hou Hsiao-Hsien show a particular respect and empathy for people like Vicky, and Hao-Hao, and Jack: young people floating freely over the borders of promiscuity, guys good of nothing, bar girls, small thieves, petty gangsters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ok, I really enjoy Chinese films, and am a big fan of Shu Qi, but this film was sooooooooo boring! To me, this is just one of those "Art-sie" films where the silence of... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tai-Pan
I liked Qi Shu's performance in A Beautiful Life so much that I've watched most of her other films that are available in the West. Of those, this is my least favorite. Read morePublished on October 15, 2013 by NickJ
I would say that this movie is captivating and believable - watching it is like taking a voyeuristic journey alongside the troubled life of a young woman and watching her... Read morePublished on April 12, 2013 by Levin Allen
One of the best films from perhaps the most impressive filmmaker now working today. A ravishing film of urban youth set adrift in the bars and clubs of an ethereally beautiful... Read morePublished on May 6, 2012 by childeroland
This film is unbelievably boring, pointless and tedious. Just stupefyingly bad. Some young losers in Taiwan have aimless lives. We watch them smoke cigarettes. That's about it. Read morePublished on April 17, 2010 by Doctor.Generosity
I have to say when I bought this film I was very excited for Shu Qi's performance because I absolutly fell in love with her movie THREE TIMES. Read morePublished on March 9, 2009 by [Brooke]
Millennium Mambo (Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 2001)
I've been trying to write this review for a month, forcing myself to mull this movie over in my head, because everyone and their... Read more
In the neon-saturated city of Taipei lives a young woman named Vicky. She is living with her boyfriend Hao, but he isn't working now and moreover, is a very jealous guy. Read morePublished on June 16, 2007 by Amazon Customer
Shu Qi looks dear and is fortunately in nearly every scene. I would say that this character must have been written for her. Read morePublished on March 2, 2007 by vvv
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