List of Monumental sculpture projects 2015

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Monday, 24 December 2007

Lust Caution, Joan Chen, Tony Leung :: Bai Ling and her interview

Lust, Caution ***

script based on Eileen Changs short story Love Caution
Lee Ang (director)

So I am watching this movie, Love Caution. Eileen Changs short story. I have a vague memory of having read it. Lee Ang makes a very careful rendering of the person.
But I am not convinced that - not because of Lee Ang - but the story itself, how could a college girl, naive pretend that she is a rich merchants wife? In real life, it just doesnt work. And we are talking about spying activities - but this is the fault of the script story... maybe.

To make it convincing, i think we cannot go by the skeletal outline of a short story - we need a lot more fleshing out of details. Just you try to go to one of those Mahjong game sessions with 3 taitais... unless you are an exuberant personality - you can get away with everything because that is in your style. Otherwise, if you had to play a subtle low key - just like the other taitai figure - it is very very hard. The precision of such a role is almost impossible unless the girl is very much a taitai want to be from the beginning - then she would have been practicing this role in her mind way before becoming a spy. Then she switches back to being a plain innocent girl... not believable. It is not in the acting, it is the story itself. Too sketchy, maybe its ok to do a piece of theatre but not a movie. Movies depends on details, and this movie is not convincing.

The star is pretty enough, cute. The right face and physique for the role.

Tony Leung apparently had to play his part without "electricity" from his eyes, because he is supposed to be a very hard spy. It just happens that he fell for this one fresh faced girl. Hmmm, not an easy role. He was also not convincing as a hard spy. His eyes are not hard enough to play this kind of figure.

Joan Chen plays the taitai role well, I think finally, all the Chinese actor, actresses they may have gone to America, and played in various Hollywood roles, in the end, they are happiest to play in a Chinese movie. I am not saying the quality of the movie matters, but somehow I feel that they are truly happy making the movie, this happiness is not the same as playing in a Hollywood movie.

The script is flawed.

I re read the foreword of the short story in the original Eileen Chang story, she argued that as a spy, an unprofessional one they are just bumbling students. Nowhere near the real killer spies. I think she is also correct in writing such a story. But translating a short story into a movie, I see that it is insufficient to just shoot it as is.

Where are the details ? As Eileen Chang is a very important writer, maybe Lee Ang is shooting this movie without adding details - due to the respect for Chang?

Curious, its just somehow cardboard like.


I saw an interview of Bai Ling with a small tv show. She is so smart, she made sure that she is entertaining, charming, and at the same time, she knows what is the responsibility of an entertainer, and she lets the audience know too. She smiles and says, oooh, they are just making fun of me... but thats ok, as long as everybody is happy, its my gift to you. She says smoothly.

Thats so professional. So smart, like a hand in a glove. Everything fits.

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