|Ang Lee Director||previously directed Brokeback Mountain|
Lust, Caution is a film directed by Ang Lee. It follows a young university student involved in an assassination attempt of a high-ranking government official in Japanese controlled Shanghai.
|Wei Tang||Wong Chia Chi/ Mak Tai Tai|
|Tony Leung Chiu Wai||Mr. Yee|
|Lee-Hom Wang||Kuang Yu Min|
|Anupam Kher||Khalid Saiduddin|
|Joan Chen||Yee Tai Tai|
|Kar Lok Chin||Tsao|
|Yan Su||Ma Tai Tai|
|Saifei He||Hsiao Tai Tai|
|Liu Jie||Leung Tai Tai|
|Hui-Ling Wang||Liao Tai Tai|
|See Full Credits|
The film is based on the short story Lust, Caution by Chinese writer Eileen Chang (September 39, 1920 – September 8, 1995). She is considered by many to be one of the greatest writers of the period in Chinese literature. Ang Lee felt that Lust, Caution was in part an autobiography of Chang’s real life, being that she had lived through the difficult period.
Ang Lee was particularly concerned with recreating the turbulent period in Chinese history to a new generation. “They’re learning about the past, about their grandparent’s generation, which is very touching to me. I feel responsible because China has been split. We went through a lot. Things get lost. If my generation doesn’t connect the past with them, who will?”
Lee was hesitant in casting Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Mr. Yee. Although he is undoubtedly one the best actors in Asian cinema, most of his roles have been charming, affable parts. He never played a villain of this caliber. Tony said Lee wanted him to portray a character no one has seen before, a character as co-screenwriter James Schamus put it, “is on the edge of a nihilistic abyss and deals with it in intimate and intense and often horrifying way.” Said Schamus, “I think Ang in this film was trying to go after a kind of transcendent, almost inhuman idea of the limits of what it means to be a human being, have human emotions, find yourself in a situation that might be beyond your control but is still very owned by you.”
Ang Lee said Tang Wei was selected from about 10,000 actresses. In 2008, China's State Administration of Radio Film and Television placed a ban on the movie in part to Wei’s performance of “sexual acts.” She was subsequently blacklisted and pulled from major product endorsements in China.
The movie follows Wong Chia Chi, a young girl whose father abandons her to remarry in Europe. At first hopeful he will send for her, Wong Chia Chi eventually leaves Shanghai and attends a university in Hong Kong. It is here she meets a group of university students and together forms a group of patriots against the Japanese controlled government.
Having no experience in espionage one of the students, Kuang Yu Min, devises a plan to infiltrate a high ranking government official’s house and assassinate him. The official is Mr. Yee, a government recruiter for the puppet controlled government in Hong Kong. Kuang Yu Min’s plan is to infiltrate Mr. Yee’s social network by using the beautiful Chia Chi to befriend the wife of Mr. Yee.
Chia Chi goes under the name Mak Tai Tai and becomes good friends with Mr. and Mrs. Yee. Chia Chi realizes Mr. Yee is attracted to her and makes an attempt to have him follow her back to her apartment, where the other university students are waiting to spring the trap.
At the last minute Mr. Yee turns away from the door. Mrs. Yee then phones Chia Chi some time later to tell her they are moving back to Shanghai. The assassination attempt being a failure, the group breaks apart and Chia Chi moves home to live with her aunt in Shanghai.
3 years in Shanghai Chia Chi is approached by Kuang, now an agent for
the Chinese Nationalist Party. Mr. Yee has since been promoted to the
head of the secret police and serves as an executioner who tortures his
victims to extract information. Chia Chi enlists in the cause. Over time
Chia Chi begins an affair with Mr. Yee. At first sexually abusive
toward her, Mr. Yee later becomes involved on an emotional level. Chia
Chi also feels the same emotion and is conflicted with what she is
tasked to do.
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