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Lust, Caution (Widescreen, R-Rated Edition)
Lust Caution
Widescreen, R-Rated Edition
Actor: Tony Leung
Director: Ang Lee
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2008     2hr 37min

Provocative, thrilling and sensual, Lust, Caution is the daring new film from acclaimed Academy AwardŽ-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Set against the backdrop of a transformi...  more »

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Movie Details

Actor: Tony Leung
Director: Ang Lee
Creators: Wei Tang, Joan Chen
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/19/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 37min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: Mandarin Chinese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 10/30/2012...
Clocking in at 157 minutes, this yawner is a major disappointment. The movie's well regarded director Ang Lee, who has done yeoman, original work like 'Eat Drink, Man, Woman,' 'Brokeback Mountain' and the surprisingly good 'The Hulk,' fails miserably here.
Lee's adaptation of Eileen Chang's short story, 'Lust/Caution' is so obsessed with being a beautifully lit 'subtle' version of 'Last Tango in Paus.'The sex between the two stars, Tony Leung and Tang Wei is convincingly sado masochistic, but sadly, boringly.
Set in 1930's Shanghai as it's invaded by the imperial Japanese army. The beautiful, Wang Jia Zhi played by Tang Wei joins the resistance, but finds herself ill used.
Tang Wei unfortunately it turns out is neither the naive country she wants to be. Not a patriot, either. She is betrayed by her lusty slut's body. As such, it is very hard for us to like her

Visually, the film is exquisite. It just doesn't own much heart. The supporting cast of Joan Chen as Mrs Yee and Wong Lee-Hom as Tang Wei's resistance compatriot, Kuang Yu Min, all look pretty. I don't want to give away the plot, but it is not convincing.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Reviewed on 8/19/2011...
This movie is amazing :)
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Lust with Caution
Dogville | Sunny Island | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ang Lee breaks through again with a masterful adaptation of Eileen Chang's short story, Lust/Caution (like what he did with Annie Prolux's similarly brief story, Brokeback Mountain). While the hype seems to be mostly misplaced on the controversial acrobatics displayed by Tony Leung and Tang Wei in bed, Lee's storytelling leaves one breathless.

The love story unfolds against the backdrop of 1930's Japanese-invaded Shanghai where tyranny and suffering were synonymous. Nubile Wang Jia Zhi played by Tang Wei joins the resistance movement and gets herself drawn into the role of a spy to crumble the traitor, Mr Yee. In between the espionage and wild climatic trysts, both of them unknowingly embroil themselves in love and deceit, much deeper than they would have liked themselves to.

Tang Wei, as a newcomer to cinema, is impeccable. Her evolution from a wide-eyed country girl to a seductive temptress is enough to make the hardest of most men, in this case, the distrusting Mr. Yee fall for her. Wei acts pretty much on instincts and her body language does wonders at seducing the somewhat vulnerable Mr. Yee played by multiple-award winner Tony Leung. Wei breaks down in the memorable scene where she's talking to the resistance leader on her unyieldingly sacrificial role that is both a torment and insidious attack to her emotions.

As usual, Tony has the penchant for playing dark brooding men and in this instance, an evil Chinese traitor. He does not act. His presence already commands attention as the cynical no-nonsense minister. The pivotal sex scenes, split into three parts, are not just there for visual enhancement. They actually convey the shift in roles between the two throughout their complex relationship. The raw emotions displayed on their faces were enough to convince anyone hard-hearted to think twice about the essence of love. I must say these are some of the best bed scenes you'll ever witness on film.

Of course, the supporting cast of Joan Chen as Mrs Yee and Wong Lee-Hom as Tang Wei's resistance compatriot, Kuang Yu Min, is every bit just as spectacular. In the end, the story about love is bittersweet. You'll also see how fervent the resistance movement, which puts the enemy above self and others, was through Wang Jia Zhi's eyes. Lust Caution is 157 minutes' of rewarding watch that will linger on in your minds well after the credits roll. (A+)
My New Favorite Movie Of All Time!
LH | NY | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this movie twice in the theater - very unusual for someone as critical of movies as I am. The first time I went by myself, and the second time I took my husband, who was not initially interested in the story line (espionage and all). He also liked it a lot (though he did not have as much of a personal connection as I did with the film). I was like in a zone for a few days after I saw the movie. It really shook me to the core in a sense. A very powerful movie in and of itself, it moves me particularly because I am orinigally from China and Eileen Chang was one of my faovrite writers when I was a teenager book worm. Having grown up surrounded by the communisit propaganda, I found it refreshing to watch a movie so artfully done to create a theme about love, sexuality and loyalty. It shows how innocent and ignorant the young revolutionaries could be (something that was obviously omitted from our history lessons). This is a movie about powerful human emotions, like all the other movies directed by Ang Lee. I'm also happy to see Ang Lee sticking to making movies based on good, solid stories, instead of falling into the 'glitz overriding story' trap like so many other talented Chinese directors, Zhang Yimou and Cheng Kaige specifically.

Ang Lee said that he made this film for the Chinese audience, but I also read that he was disappointed by the fact that the Chinese media focused predominantly on the raw, sex scenes. I can understand his frustration. I wonder really how the mainland Chinese will embrace such a tale. Eileen Chang was never a Communist writer. In the book and the movie, the revolutionaries were referred to as 'the people from Chongqing.' As the Nationalist Party was based in Chongqing at the time (and the Communists in Yan'an), the revoluntionaries in the book were not Communinist members but Nationalists. That sort of contradicts everything we have learned in history lessons about the Communisit being the main heroes fighting against the Japanese and the Nationalists (the Kuomingtang) being wimpy traitors. Because of these reasons, I doubt mainland China will allow the movie to be shown in public.

But it doesn't mean the Chinese will be denied access to this beautiful film, thanks to the illegal DVD pirating industry. My sister-in-law in China has already bought the film (for a dollar) and watched it. Funny thing is she had very similar reaction to it as I did. My brother said she wouldn't talk to him for a few hours.

I disagree with some critics who called Ang Lee 'indecisive' in directing the movie. I think everything was very deliberately done and Ang Lee was very clear on what he planned to do with the story. He said that it was one of his favorite stories written by Eileen Chang. I suppose if you don't like the story (such as some other reviewers), you wouldn't like the movie. But to me, the story can be interpreted in many ways, and Ang Lee has done a brilliant job conveying what Eileen Chang wanted her story to convey. The sex scenes (not in the book) are integral to the story, as Eileen Chang wrote, "If the path to a man's heart is through his stomache, then the path to a woman's heart is through her v...." The movie is certainly not for the faint of heart.

By the way, the soundtrack is beautiful. I downloaded it from iTunes. Before I receive the DVD in the mail, the soundtrack will do. (But I wouldn't want a Chinese film that's dubbed in English. That's a crime. I'm buying it from somewhere else.)"
Lust, Caution: Acting, Becoming
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ang Lee has the ability to transform simple stories about human relationships into epic films that somehow maintain the quality of intimacy and tenderness despite the grand sweep of his productions. In LUST, CAUTION ('SE, JIE') he has once again created a symphony of a film with a script by James Schamus based on the short story by Eileen Chang, assembled a cast superb actors who convey the story's multileveled messages on the historic backgrounds of World War II Shanghai and Hong Kong using the sensitive camera eye of Rodrigo Prieto and accompanied by Alexandre Desplat's evocative East/West musical score. It is a visual triumph, a fascinating recounting of China's history about which we know little, and one of the most intriguing love stories committed to film.

The film opens in Hong Kong focusing on a group of college students who form a theater group to present plays of 'significance'. Young Wong Chia Chi (the luminous Wei Tang in her first cinematic role) is asked to join the theatrical group and she consents primarily because of her attraction to the leader of the group, Kuang Yu Min (Lee-Hom Wang, a commanding and handsome actor). Events of history alter the purpose of the art groups and they become a Resistance force against the Japanese occupation of China. The leader of the Japanese sympathizers is a Mr. Lee (Tony Leung, one of the most solid actors on the screen today) and the student group plans an infiltration into his home and life by placing Wong Chia Chi into his household. In residence in Mr. Lee's home, she learns to tolerate the constant mah jong games with Mr. Lee's wife (Joan Chen) and her gossipy girlfriends, only to await the moment when Mr. Lee will notice her and hopefully begin an affair that will result in inside information espionage. As the effects of the war tighten problems the Yees move to Shanghai and the troupe follows them: the troupe has become a committed political resistance force with plans to kill Mr. Yee and the cadre of men who support his siding with the Japanese. Wong Chia Chi agrees to follow Mr. Yee's sexual advances and in short time they are caught up in powerfully erotic explosions of lust: it is during these very frank and very erotic lovemaking scenes that Ang Lee manages to reveal the inner aspects of each of these important characters, allowing the audience to see the complete picture of how lust can dissipate caution. The changes that occur between the two characters set in motion a surprising ending, at once disturbing and understandable.

Accompanying the DVD (already in excess of 157 minutes) is a 'making of' feature and a discussion period with not only Ang Lee but also with the stars and production people that is very solid commentary and for once seems pertinent to enhance the enjoyment of the film. Some may find the extended lovemaking scenes too frankly sexual, but so much of the real grit of the story lies in the non-verbal, purely physical language that could only be understood in the way Lee decided to film these gorgeous scenes. This is an important film on many levels and will probably become better appreciated with multiple views. In Mandarin, Japanese, Shanghainese, English and Hindi with subtitles. Grady Harp, February 08"