Ang Lee’s new film, Lust, Caution, tripped up quite a few American critics. Words used in reviews include slow, sleepy and snoozy. The best one is from Anthony Lane’s of the New Yorker: “…ninety-five. That is the number of minutes that elapsed, by my watch, between the start of the film and the start of the sex, and from that you can calculate your own schedule.” A typical Hollywood erotic motion picture would start with a sex scene before the story unfolds. Whereas Lee makes you wait an hour and a half into the film to give you the lust part. Your patience will be rewarded, my friend.
Lee shows no hesitation when pushing the sex button. If he had succeeded with gay sex in Brokeback Mountain, what is there to hold back? The media has always portrayed Asian male as sexless, but Lee has proved them wrong. Lust, Caution reveals a dark, juicy affair between a school-play performer and a cold-blooded traitor. Tony Leung, a handsome, bohemian actor who has never been afraid of walking down the path he has not taken, gives his superb performance as a misogynist bastard who is in ruthless control yet bangs like porn star. Tang Wei has a luscious-yet-innocent look that could melt a frozen heart and increase tremendous testosterone level. Together they bared almost everything—even bushy armpits and pubic hair (Lee is a detail freak).
Lust, Caution clocks in at 158 minutes, yet the progression isn’t tedious at all because Tang Wei, the exotic visual, is in almost every scene. Lee has once again demonstrated the genuine master of his craft.