Don't be fooled by the cover and the posters. A sexy film this ain't ! Although sex is integral to the story, it is in the form of brutal short sex scenes where nothing is seen (although Pat Ha is fully nude in some, it completely discreet), and lots of sexual references in conversations.
Reviewer Score: 3
But the most shocking parts are the slaughterhouse scenes. None of this "no animal was harmed" stuff here. Several pigs are depicted actually having their throats cut, and there follows several painfully long scenes where their insides are spilled out, moved around and, in one scene, thrown at the lead character. Be warned - this film could make a vegetarian out of you !
And right from the opening scene, the tone is grim, grim, grim. The only lighter moment is when Pat Ha briefly attends the ghost festival, where the atmosphere is pleasant, just for a few minutes.
On the upside, the two leads particularly plays their parts with excellence, the film is well directed (if rather slow) and there is some beautiful outdoor scenery.
But this all doesn't amount to much. Right from the time when you see the pigs being stabbed in the throat, you have a very good idea as to what will happen and to whom. There is, therefore, little in the way of suspense.
The only other merit is the brutally clear exposition of the cruelty of the other women towards Pat Ha's suffering woman character. The female characters very much dominate this film, and it could even be described as an inverted women's picture. Despite the men being brutes, the character assassination and gossip of the other women is shown to be at least as bad, if not worse, in showing that the title character has only one way out of her situation.
This film could be okay for ardent completist fans of Pat Ha or Pai Ying who have very strong stomachs. For other, a must to avoid !