Lust, Caution (2007)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2008-03-30
Summary: A great return for Ang Lee...
Lust, Caution is Ang Lee's return to Chinese filmmaking starring the great Tony Leung and newcomer Tang Wei. Wei plays Wong Chia Chi, a young student in Shanghai who becomes involved in a plot to murder Mr. Yee (Leung), a government collaborator with the Japanese. She is drawn into the scheme by the charismatic force of the group's leader Kuang Yu Min (played by singer Wang Lee-Hom) and eventually assumes the lead role in the plot, namely to seduce Yee and eventually lead him to his death at the hands of her friends. Soon though, her seduction leads to a passionate physical affair and Wong's feelings for Yee, despite his treasoness activities, could compromise the entire plan.

Despite its nearly 2 hour and 40 minute (uncut) length, "Lust, Caution" is a tremendous film from Lee. Its look compliments its high budget, with fantastic sets, scenery and costumes. Tony Leung, as expected, is fantastic. He has a mannerism about him that is so smooth and polished that you cannot take your eyes off him when he is on screen. Every word out of his mouth or reaction to another person seems to be instantaneously perfectly calculated for the situation. The only moment when he is broken out of this state, fittingly, is when he realizes the situation he has fallen into as a result of his passion. As good as Leung is, he is matched by Tang Wei in her screen debut. No doubt she was assisted in her performance by Lee's direction, but she is a marvel to watch. She plays the vulnerable emotion perfectly, but can become steely hardened when faced with adversity. Her much vaunted sex scenes with Leung are quite graphic and intense, but are still done in a way that doesn’t feel out of place in the story. They match the lead character's emotions and positions at the time. Excellent supporting performances are supplied as well by Joan Chen (who plays Yee's wife), Zhu Zhi-Ying as the other woman in the group and veteran Chin Kar Lok as Yee's bodyguard. "Lust, Caution" is definitely a film that deserves the accolades and awards it received and should find itself in anyone's viewing schedule as soon as possible.

Reviewer Score: 10