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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

Lust, Caution

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Tang Wei and Wang Lee-Hom in Lust, Caution (Focus Features)

Taiwanese filmmaker Ang Lee moved from foreign art house darling to box office champ and Hollywood Oscar-winner in a little more than a decade. Now he ventures back to Asia for a tale of spies and sexual passion, Lust, Caution (opening October 5 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas ). The film has already won notoriety for its NC-17 rating and is proving popular at the Asian box office.

Lust, Caution opens in Japanese occupied Shanghai in 1942. We join a group of elegant Chinese women enjoying mah jong and gossip. This is where we first meet Wang Jiazhi (Tang Wei), who is younger than the other women in the group. The film then jumps to four years earlier. We find Wang, who's father has escaped to England, alone and crying at an Ingrid Bergman movie. She's a also a freshman the university where she's been recruited to act in a patriotic school play. But the hunky lead actor/director Huang (Wang Lee-Hom) proves more of an attraction to Wong than the politics of the play. When her performance draws a standing ovation, Wang is thrilled. She seems adept at playing a role and this leads to her joining Huang's resistance group and taking on the identity of Mrs. Mak. She presents herself as a lady of means and sophistication so that she can spy on a "traitor" named Mr. Yee (Tony Leung Chiu Wai). Mr. Yee is a high ranking Japanese collaborator and Huang wants his tiny unit to assassinate him. Wong befriends Yee's wife (Joan Chen) and eventually seduces Yee but with unexpected results.

Sheldon Walters
November 19, 2007 at 05:26 PM
Frankly, I can tell you that the reason why Tang Wei was chosen by Ang Lee to do this part was just so he could place Tang Wei in a higer level of fame by having her do a part where she has to take off her clothes and have real sex on the set. It was no make-up bodysuit simulated sex, it was real penetration. Tony Leung showed off this testicles, that was real, but his penis could not be seen because you could tell by the body muscle movements and thrusts that it was real sex. What can I say? This was Tang Wei's first film that made her famous just for her body and having real sex on the set so she can be Hollywood's newest slut. This movie has also made a big hype amongst the Asian community (except for the Japanese) Because of cultural reasons. I read one complaint saying that this movie portrays Asian women as mindless sex-toys who you can rape and buy a diamond for just because she may like it. If that is how Ang Lee portrays Asian women, then I guess he may have forgotten who he is and where he comes from. If Ang Lee was black and he made a movie just like that with these same explicid sex scenes, there is no telling of the heated debates that would take place within the black community, and most of all how conservative whites would respond. -----

Sheldon Walters
November 19, 2007 at 05:38 PM
I didn't eloborate enough on this, but the reason why Tony Leung's penis was not shown was because his penis was already inside of Tang Wei's vagina. Yes there was 100% nude flesh and pubic hairs. It was all real, not fake. There was also implied oral sex, when I watched this movie in a local Korean theatre, I treated it like a porno yelling out, "Suck that d---! f--- her, f--- her p----!" Yes the women in there who speak English may have been offended but I don't care, they payed thier money to watch it in the first place.This goes to show that feature film and pornography are closing the gap. Ang Lee made that revolution in the history of Asian feature films. Ang Lee's taste of sex should lead him to collaborate with Ron Jeremy to direct a real porno. Perhaps Asian porno featuring Asian Porn stars like Thai Michelle, Annie Cruz, Lucy Lee, Mika Tan, or Asia Carrera. How about that Mr. Lee?

Mark C
December 05, 2007 at 05:46 PM
*** There was also implied oral sex, when I watched this movie in a local Korean theatre, I treated it like a porno yelling out, Suck that d! f her, f her p-! *** What a colossal ass.

John Smith
December 16, 2007 at 08:03 PM
Beth Accomando's comments hit the nail on the head. This movie had such a great potential, the filmography, colors, and soundtrack all complemented each other. The acting by all means was fantastic, but after the lengthy 2.5 hour movie, I felt like I barely knew any character at all. In the end when Tony Leung discovered Tang Wei was a spy, I felt absolutely no emotional dispair for either of the characters, that was the critical moment!! Ang Lee fell short of delivering the final blow to the viewers! Instead, Tony Leung just remains silent, Tang Wei's dry, emotionless character also disappointed me. It's weird, the characters did a LOT of talking, but I felt as though it was just talking, and the pain and love and jealousy just didn't hit me in any way. I suppose the real sex could have been used to the film's advantage, however the film lacked emotional appeal the whole way through, so I found it rather uncomfortable and disturbing to watch it. Even when they had their rough, crazy, brutal sex, it still seemed as if they were just going through the motions. Just like Beth Accomando said. In my opinion, the film could have satisfied the emotional appeal to the viewers if the main character's would have spent the whole time building up their love for one another, not lust! Just think about the movie called "The Road Home" directed by Zhang Yimou. It has Zhang Ziyi in it. The main characters dont even TOUCH the entire movie, yet in the end the viewer feels a much closer affinity between the main antagonists! Just the sight of the characters together makes you want to cry!

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