Lust, Caution (2007) - Drama, History, Romance

Hohum Score

88

Hohummer

During World War II era, a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.

IMDB: 7.5
Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Wei Tang
Length: 157 Minutes
PG Rating: NC-17
Reviews: 29 out of 156 found boring (18.58%)

One-line Reviews (127)

Nicely slow period piece in China during the 1940s.

"Lust, Caution" is a pure Chinese drama with the bloody China-Japan war and the Chinese cultural context of 1940s: slow pace, old Shanghai, mahjong, the traditional song, hatred, love, loneliness, and the souls of students and traitors.

After working with Lee on Brokeback Mountain, he once again shoots some stunning work.

Most of the movies I have seen recently have been more entertaining than moving.

A Stunning, Evocative Production Compromised by Opaque Characters and Plodding Pacing .

The fact that the film manages to develop this somewhat far-fetched starting point into an absorbing and believable tale is to writer James Schamus's credit.

Scenes like Yee Tai Tai meeting Mai Tai Tai and the six of them being executed were things we can picture and were cliché.

The sex scenes are about as exciting as a Power Point presentation by Al Gore about climate change.

The ending brings us welcome release - FINALLY those incompetent fools that wasted three hours of our life are dead and we can stumble back to our cars.

But the whole thing becomes a little pretentious, even if you understand where it will end.

and for the ending alone this film was well worth watching, 'not the usual fluff' to quote James Chance, and a really good story if flawed in terms of plausibility.

The real meat of the film, however, was within Ang Lee's direction, Tang's acting, and of course, the intense sex scenes that powerfully depicted lust, no holds barred, with anger, frustration, hate, and all the other negative emotions associated with it.

If you can only bare the first 30 minutes (kind of boring moment before Tony Leung shows up), you will leave the theater with great satisfaction.

Notwithstanding comments (in jest or otherwise) that Director Lee has wandered into the realm of porno, these scenes are essential, for underpinning Wang's intriguing feeling towards Yee, whether you call it lust, passion, love or by any other name .

It is a tragedy, or a tragic waste of time for a young doomed woman, Wang Jia-hi (newcomer Tang Wei) and her group of young provincial actors who want to kill Chinese collaborators.

When the event that shows the culmination of their age and inexperience plays out, it is both unexpected and unavoidable.

Those elements combined felt almost like backhanded reproaches to viewers for a lack of knowledge, trying their patience and reasoning, leaving one to wonder how it's possible to get browbeaten into boredom for three hours.

Lee is a master, Tony Leung is divine, Tang Wei is a slow-burning revelation.

It's ponderous, boring, & should have an hour edited out.

Only a very brave or suicidal director would come up with a two-and-a- half hour, slow moving war-time epic set in Shanghai, as the follow-up.

From a more open-minded person, it's on the edge.

How an exceptional film maker like Lee could make a movie like this with so much potential and fail on so many levels I have no idea, but this movie is a meteoric rocket crashing to earth with a dull, lifeless thud.

He brings back cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, who he used on Brokeback Mountain, and who work had me on the edge of my seat in both films.

There is definitely an attraction between Wong and Kuang, but he is such an intense young man devoted to his causes that he does nothing to foster the development of their romantic relationship.

Her initially acting in the theater, later having to act in life, in the mahjong games with rich bored housewives, as the mistress.

The singing scene in the Japanese house, for instance..I have no idea what she was singing about, but it was breathtaking and heartbreaking.

Much has been made of the films sex scenes but while they are fairly intense they are neither gratuitous nor excessive.

But as the story unfolds it picks up and becomes intriguing all the way to the end.

The reason I give it a 7.3 is cause the end will make you feel like the rest of the film was pointless, even if they were trying to go a more haunting approach to it.

The first hour and a half are unbearably boring and empty.

The question that is meant to keep you watching through endless, empty, boring, setup: Will the would-be assassin fall in love with her quarry, a man she is forced to bed?

This aside, Lee manages to deliver an engrossing and suspenseful film ( even mahjong is exciting) that runs beyond two and half hours.

So, rather than build extreme tension between two people, like in the German film, Lee allows for a slow construction of backstory and relationship with all involved.

The plot is gripping, and there is a lot to be pondered on.

'Lust, Caution' is no different, it is a bold and suspenseful experience that takes us from the beginnings of a student play to sleeping with the enemy.

Lust, Caution (2007)The production values are so high, the drama so obviously layered in World War II tensions, and the romance so predictably intense and conflicting, this is a movie that has to succeed.

This is a well-acted, intriguing historical fiction set during a political upheaval in 20th century China.

True those aspects are there, but the real story is so much more involved, stimulating, and unexpected.

This thrilling espionage takes the viewer through a vast array of mature, complex motives and feelings, intricately woven betwixt and between the contrastual tapestry of the bourgeois and horrors of war.

It will be a slow seduction, luring him in to trust and desire her enough to overcome his caution.

They feel contrived.

But don't let that scare you away from this moving epic, it is a suspenseful and sensual picture with a tantalizing good story to boot.

Discover two intriguing complementary sides of friendship, ideals, resistance, romance and sex .

I had a hard time absorbing it.

For sure worth watching.

Intense; erotic; exceptional.

LUST, CAUTION is artful propaganda for the domination ethos that conquered the world a few thousand years ago, destroying older cultures of peace, equality, and greater sexual sophistication.

The global combination achieved the great technical support besides the compelling story and the feast of performances.

The movie is very long, very slow, with not enough background to clue us in so that length & pace make sense.

In spite of its length, the film was neither boring nor long drawn.

I have seen a lot of movies in my life, many good and many poor, but this one takes the cake as the worst movie I have seen to date.

So I am especially angry to have sat through that pointless waste of my time and supposedly 4 years of this woman's life.

Pointless & insulting to women .

The duty of flirting with Mr. Yee, the Chinese traitor who pledges loyalty to the Japanese, appears to be a chance of satisfying her ambition in acting while she also knows it is a dangerous yet exciting mission.

At the same time oddly enough perhaps in attempting to avoid predictable stereotypes, the movie lost its action thrilling opportunities.

I'm an Asian and I'm a little bit bored with this kind of plot (resistance group to Japan, female spy falling in love with traitor...

It is a long movie almost 140 minutes, BUT it moves fast,Many exciting scenes,with some typical humour of the times.

Great, intriguing performance of the newcomer actress Tang Wei.

I saw the film yesterday with my boyfriend and totally enjoyed it throughout the two and half hours.

The surreal atmosphere that she creates when she is Mai Tai Tai is stunning.

There is a palpable uncertainty in her portrayal of a seductress that serves the film's ambiguity well, and as the glamorously composed Mrs. Mak, she looks stunning in Lai Pan's period clothing.

Fascinating and heartfelt, a very "foreign" film for Westerners.

With excellent cinematography, impeccable direction, a haunting score and top-notch performances, why is 'Lust, Caution', such a ho-hum affair?

Snoozer .

There are two especially wonderfully evocative moments that worked magic on this viewer.

The historical scenes were very well recreated except it was a bit confusing to see a 1960's London taxi in pre-war Hong Kong.

This Chinese movie is a visually stunning drama that convinces with two extremely talented main actors that incarnate two credible and fascinating characters.

There is a slight change of cinematographic style in the film: fast cutting and swish pans at the beginning; slow cutting, static camera and occasional tracking from the middle to the epilogue.

Gripping story.

While it is true that the film unfolds at a slow pace, it never drags, and it's never boring.

But if a viewer tries answering any of the many, many questions he's left asking all throughout and at the end, she'll simply come up short; the film accomplishing perhaps the biggest anti-tour de force of delivering the least possible payoff in the longest three hours of cinematic tedium.

I read a reviewer who said this film was neither thrilling nor sexy.

Another intense, involving work from this outstanding director.

The first quarter into the film I felt it to be slightly slow and was not sure where it was going.

The lower rating may cause many to miss out on a very immersive and entertaining historical piece.

That is the same lust that leads Mr. Yee to caress empty spaces, to love the memory and live of thoughts, even when he loaded with the betrayal of his beloved.

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.

At first I didn't know what do I have to feel regarding this film, although their images marveled me (photography and music were exceptional), the weak stance by moments of story, especially in it's predictable ending and totally anti climate, is what makes me doubt about what I had felt.

Too long, too slow, too self-indulgent, and too brutal in its graphic sex scenes, Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" is a film not to be missed.

Direction, acting, score, cinematography and costumes are all first class in this compelling wartime thriller.

And it also shows how empty their patriotic plays are.

Tedious .

One of the consensus main complaints was that it was too long and drawn out (157 minutes is no joke, especially with a few ice teas in you from dinner).

I slowness of the beginning was forgiven because it added to the suspense of the last 20 minutes of the movie.

But this time, their relation grows from violent, lustful to emotional, intense and passionate.

And are the unintended effects of engaging in this complicated "relationship" made even less predictable if the target of the duplicity is sufficiently disarmed to show some trust, some caring, some vulnerability.

Clocking in at nearly 3 hours (a true irony since the film is based on a short story), the film asks viewers to hang in there when there's no plot payoff.

Save your money.

It's deeper, more subtle, and more about the relationships and slow ground work that needs to be done.

The plot is gripping in a way that reminded me of the works of John Le Carré; the people felt real and the sense of danger was palpably.

A story is told, the detail is pitch-perfect, time flows like the "jiang"; the great concourse; and the drama is very direct, pointed right straight at the primal twin issues of love and power, refusing to look away from predictable and unpredictable outcomes.

While we're expecting some kind of exciting, assassination attempt by Kuang and his confederates in the first hour of the film, that never materializes as Mr. and Mrs. Yee unexpectedly move back to Shanghai.

This is a tense, gripping, atmospheric and effective war thriller.

Some of the editing made the film hard to follow, particularly at the beginning, when events are explored non-chronologically, without any exposition.

Cinematic, Elegant, Entertaining and Real 2 The Period .

The story of this movie is intriguing thanks to a very strong acting and a progressive character development.

So this is a "challenging" film by most standards, bearing "rewards" only if you are able to meet its challenge (of actually looking into the character's eyes and engaging with them).

The story itself, drawn from just a 26 page short story, was incredibly intense.

The plot is rather simple and develops with a rigorous, slow pace, with an obsessive attention to details.

Chia-chi is so immersed in different roles and emotions that she does not know who or what to trust.

I believe they were integral to the plot, as the characters relationship deepens, and their original motives distorted, with every intense act.

I felt as if the beginning was a little slow and the side characters were just throw-aways.

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.

Ang Lee's follow-up to the highly acclaimed BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is a compelling and gripping tale that is hard to tie down to any particular genre.

Regardless of how famous a director is, it is still a laborious exercise in lavishly fawning over and entertaining bureaucrats 2.

After 2 1/2 hours of being bombarded with a World War II love-and-hate story that's both exciting and dragging, chances are you will be still pinned to your seat, anxious to find out how it ends.

At the centre of this film is amazingly and undeniably compelling acting, the likes of which American film-goers are seldom exposed to, which makes it even more shameful that the film was slapped with an NC-17 rating; the proverbial 'kiss of death'.

As adapted by Wang Hui Ling and James Schamus, the focus here is less on character development and more on a ponderous, drawn-out conspiracy where acts of passion threaten to upend an ambitious mission to kill a powerful official working with the Japanese puppet government.

Others will find it plodding, opaque, and full of unsympathetic characters.

With the bad luck in that dreary era, she doomed to be destroyed and end up in the tragic destiny of this kind or another.

" The first is that it's too slow moving.

For starters, so much of it is stretched out that we end up with only tidbits of compelling drama.

In this movie, Zhang Ailing's signature tonality of indifference and barrenness is once again extremified to hammer into the viewer this extremely depressing story (Zhang Ailing's major characters have almost invariably been female, pretty, silent, intense and inevitably violated).

There's a lot going on in "Lust, Caution," but so much is left unclear that some elements of the film are hard to follow.

The sex was equally intense, and necessarily so, as it was the only thing that truly showed the evil of Mr Yee (Tony Leung - Hero, Infernal Affairs).

Even though this film is very long (two-and-a-half hours in total) it is completely gripping and completely satisfying.

A little slow at first but in a half hour sat riveting .

Each frame was beautifully shot, the attention to every painstaking detail is apparent, and the casting of the intense acting leads was terrific.

There are some slow moments and the highly charged sex scenes threaten their own impact by lingering but overall Lust, Caution is a powerful and absorbing character study of two people swept up in turbulent times beyond their control.

Those people will probably be disappointed, and they're probably the same who complained the film is too slow, with too much caution and too little lust.

Eyes are piercing, cicadas hum in the background, the actors are beautiful and conversations are fascinating.

Worth watching especially nowadays when it's hard to find something really interesting and moving.

I found the second half,which is focused in the sadomasochistic relationship between the main characters,tired and frequently boring.

Love is so terrible that it makes people doing things that are unpredictable......

The sex scenes are uncomfortable, grave, intense and sometimes disturbing.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

The film overall is, as people have said, a fascinating study in a time and place that has been cinematically unexplored.