Reel Overseas
A Community Built Around Foreign Films
Lust, Caution (Widescreen Edition) (2007)

Action & Adventure and Art House & International movie directed by Ang Lee

< read all 5 reviews

Lee's combination of love and war stood out in this film.

  • Feb 25, 2008
  • by
I enjoy watching Tony Leung in 2046, The Infernal Affairs Trilogy (Infernal Affairs 1 / Infernal Affairs 2 / Infernal Affairs 3) (Special Collector's Edition Box Set) and In the Mood for Love - Criterion Collectionso it was right for me to watch "Lust and Caution." This movie wasn't so hot in the theaters and targeted to a selective few. This movie starts with the Japanese occupying Shanghai during the second world war and resistance group member Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei) is on a mission to assassinate Mr. Yee (Tony Leung), the head of China's Secret Service who's also a collaborator with the Japanese.

She's been groomed by a student theater group specializing in plays about propaganda and patriotism. Impressed by her acting skills she's recruited as a spy. She adopts the fake persona of a young wife with a lot of time on her hands, because her rich husband is away on business, and befriends Yee's gossipy mahjong playing wife (Joan Chen). She also infiltrates his bed, with the plan to seduce him and then hand him over to her patriot friends. He slipped through the net once before and now, three years later, she has him where she wants him. But lust gets in the way of her mission and she becomes unsure whether she wants to be his mistress or his murderer. There's no nookie until 90 minutes into the film, but it's well worth waiting for. Slapped with an NC-17 rating in the US, Lee refused to cut it but shaved off seven minutes for the Chinese censors.

In Hollywood standards I thought the sex segments were graphic and realistic, bringing to mind the "Did they? Didn't they?" of the frantic couplings of Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in "Don't Look Now." The smoldering lovers reach many graphic sexual climaxes, but fail to achieve equivalent emotional peaks. The intensity of their relationship calls into question Wong Chia Chi's motives considering she's played as a half reluctant participant, coerced into carrying out Yee's abduction by the amateur resistance group.

Lee's late glamorous `30s Shanghai with its immaculate sets and women in perfect period costume gives Shanghai a romantic exoticism that belies the poverty and fear of the majority of its inhabitants. Beautifully shot, rich in color and full of intrigue Lee is less interested in the historical consequences of Japan's invasion of China and concentrates on the passionate - bordering on sadistic - relationship between his leads, see it for yourself it's a pretty good film.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
More Lust, Caution (2007) reviews
review by . December 22, 2009
posted in Reel Overseas
Ang Lee may be the most interesting and gifted director alive today. He's done comedies of manners (Sense & Sensibility), comic book adaptations (Hulk), martial arts epics (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), trifling comedies (Taking Woodstock), and the quintessential gay romance of our times (Brokeback Mountain), amongst others. In 2007, he branched out even further, to the near-pornographically sexy Lust, Caution.      It must be said, right off the bat, that I'm …
review by . September 04, 2008
"Lust, Caution" is a magnificent film by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain (Widescreen Edition), Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition)). Bearing no resemblance to his previous films in themes used or in its direction, save for the amazing and beautiful scenes, this movie, as others by Lee, does what it intended to do: it explores characters as they are shaped by the idea, by the emotion and by the revolution love entails.     Wang Jiazhi is a young student …
review by . February 24, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
About the reviewer
Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


Lust, Caution, Ang Lee's follow up toBrokeback Mountain, for which he won the Academy Award® for Best Director, continues his exploration of people with a passion for each other trapped in a world where their passion could be life-threatening, but in a very different context this time. Set in China during the Japanese occupation of early World War II, the underlying plot concerns the story of young Wong Chia Chi (Tang Wei), an actress and member of a small group of student resistors planning to infiltrate the home of Mr. Yee (Tony Leung), a high-ranking collaborationist government official, in order to kill him for his role in the torture and executions of Chinese resistance fighters. Chi ingratiates herself with Yee's wife, the sophisticated and cultured Mrs. Yee (Joan Chen) under the guise of being the wife of a wealthy but unseen tycoon. Flashbacks tell the tale of how Chi came to be involved with the resistors: her acting ability is her most valuable asset, and her assignment is to act the role of Mr. Yee's lover, right down to the sex. The story of their love and the painful intimacy it involves for both of them is told through their sexual relationship, which starts out violently, drifts into S&M, and shifts with their feelings, moving from pain and fear to some sort of desperate connection. This is lust with a capital L; the film's sex scenes have become famous for their frankness and acrobatic portrayals (they took 12 days to film), but ...
view wiki


Director: Ang Lee
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2008
Runtime: 159 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
First to Review
© 2014, LLC All Rights Reserved - Relevant reviews by real people.
Reel Overseas is part of the Network - Get this on your site
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since