Set against the backdrop of a transforming country, a young women 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.
Wonderful film that is both an erotic spy thriller drama and a complex psychological study of hidden passions. Set in 1930/40s Hong Kong and Shanghai, it tells the story of drama students who turn away from acting to join the resistance and attempt to assasinate a collaborationist police chief. But the real story is about deep seated sexual passions (in a simailar way to Brokeback Mountain) - but this is a more subtle film with a focus on what isn't rather than what is said. Wonderful performances all round - and the director achieves a great sense of time and history. The film is littered with some wonderful scenes - my favourites being those with the women sitting round the table playing games for money (and silently judging each other). Some very graphic sex scenes towards the end which are particularly effective beacuse of the silent tensions that have preceded them (and because they mirror the comical scenes where Wong is deflowered by members of her resistance group). Wonderful film by a great director.
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There's plenty of both!!
- Lust, Caution review by Kurtz
Ang Lee serves up a feast in this steamy 40’s-set thriller, with Tang Wei joining Lee-Hom Wang’s band of courageous but naïve resistance fighters trying to draw Tony Yeung’s collaborationist police chief into a honey trap. He’s a smart cookie, though, and by the time he’s ensnared by Wei’s undoubted charms she herself is no longer sure where her loyalties lie. It’s a visual treat with wartime Shanghai a cosmopolitan delight. Make sure the kids are in bed, though, because there are some fairly graphic sex scenes in the last third.