Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lust, Caution--a review

For a fairly long film (2 hr. 38 min.); Lust, Caution had a way of not feeling like it given the fact that it wasn't completely predictable, and the storyline was intriguing, it felt historical without being stiff. 

The main character/lovers were convincing, minus an excess of longing looks which might be expected and conveyed in this genre; but then again it's made to be more foreign thriller than romantic, emphasized in the title containing the term "lust" versus love.

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For a woman lured by the danger of being a political spy there must be a certain thrill involved with being in the shoes of Mata Hari, the ultimate femme fetale, sleeping with the enemy, a murderer's mistress...until it gets emotional. And it always does, doesn't it? Especially if the person you're groping on the regular has power and won't let their guard down without a fight.

Regarding the NC-17 rating, there was no way around that; the sex scenes, a vividly comprised ten minutes of violent to tender lovemaking, was key to illustrating sexual chemistry between the two protagonists in three major scenes. The scenes were considered by Ang Lee to be critical to the story. They reportedly took 100 hours to shoot.


A beautiful film overall, with a great blending of score, charm, costumes, acting, scenery and ominous inevitability: Lust, Caution is a proud marriage of style and substance, raising the bar in the filmmaking world, resembling anything but trite attempt to exploit audiences, or to make a blockbuster buck for the sake of it alone.


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