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March 18, 2008

Lust, Caution - 6

Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) and screen-writer James Schamus (The Ice Storm, The Wedding Banquet, Eat Drink Man Woman) team up once again to adapt this short story by Chinese author Eileen Chang. To over simplify, or rather to make an unnuanced comparison, this film is similar to Verhoeven's 2006 film Black Book. This film is also set during WWII, but in Japanese occupied Shanghai, rather than German occupied Holland. A young university student, Wang (Wei Tang), uses her beauty to get close to the enemy as a part of a resistance movement. After a failed attempt early on with some of her young theater friends, she later is recruited to once again get close to Mr. Yee (Tony Leung). As lust turns into love, it becomes harder to tell who is deceiving whom, or even if it is deception anymore. And after all the build up of developing an intimate relationship it all comes down to the crucial decision of what they love more: the causes they work for, or each other.

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