Here is my first review on Spill.com!
Since I am in the UK, I may not get the movies as fast as it is in the US but I will review them when I get the chance. Heck, even if it pops up on DVD I'll watch it and review it. Tell me what you think about them too... I want to hear your opinions. So here is my review on Lust, Caution
by Ang Lee.
Ang Lee is famous for exploring new boundaries in the world of cinema. He has never truly stuck to a typical genre or even a visual style. He has looked into Westerns with Brokeback Mountain
, tackled the Asian Epic film with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
, and the comic book blockbuster with The Hulk. Lust, Caution
is no exception to this rule as Ang Lee tries out the erotic thriller.
This is an adaptation from a 10 page short story and yet turned this into a 2 1/2 hour film (Wow, impressive! Well, Brokeback Mountain was about the same and look what he did to it).
Also just like Brokeback Mountain
, this film has been hyped around its taboo nature. This film does contain strong, graphic sexual content. No, this is not a porno… although some of the scenes were close (I mean, I’m not kidding, you see more than just boobs and moving cloth!).
But this is far more than just a sex-romp. The story is a simple espionage film, but portrayed in a very interesting angle. It is about a band of young local theatre actors who agree to join a rebellious Resistance group during the Japanese occupation of China and Taiwan in the 2nd World War. They are asked by them to infiltrate and kill a traitor working within the government, following their progress within the span of almost a decade. It sounds like a basic spy thriller, but it is approached as a tragic love story which makes it appear far more original and open to new ideas, traits and possibilities. I do have to say that the plot is long and slow at times, mainly due its unusual pacing and film length… but it is rewarding those who wait. Each individual moment brings out a new tiny detail, creating new clues and revealing new character traits. All this builds up to a realistic and powerful conclusion. Lust, Caution’s
theme of love against politics and patriotism is shining through perfectly here and creates both a powerful, untold war tale (since we usually get to hear from the European or American Side of WWII)
and passionate romance. This appears to be one of Ang Lee’s most personal works, expressing his views of this matter as well as other issue such as violence, greed and betrayal. Very moving stuff!
Not a lot of people pay attention to things like the sets, the lighting, the camerawork and so on, unless it is purposely trying to stand out. Lust, Caution
may not have drastic camera movements, jazzy sound, bright light effects or bizarre set pieces but you will notice it as all these elements are used to its utmost potential. Ang Lee and his crew created a new, modern feel to an old formula. It looks and feels like a a 1930s film-noir but has a contemporary edge. It is visually mouthwatering.
OK, so now that I have gone through all the serious stuff… Let’s talk about the sex! Well, it is very graphic... but just tame enough to not be classified as a naughty movie. You can see each position clearly and hear every thrust. The sex scenes are not just randomly placed to satisfy all the raunchy teens and dirty old perverts. It is tastefully used and, oddly enough, felt like it was needed. The explicitness of these moments help understand the powerful bond being made by the two lovers in question and so hence, essential to the story. It starts off with violation and fantasy but leads later on to pure love-making. The sex is almost a character in itself. It is filthy yet beautiful
This has to be one of the best dramas I have seen in recent memory and I strongly would recommend this film all those who love true and honest cinema .