Thursday, March 02, 2006

Everlasting Regret

Everlasting Regret by Stanley Kwan (2005).

Despite the negative comments or reviews it received, I wanted to see it.
The movie is set in Shanghai and covers the times from 1947 up to the 80s, mostly shot indoor. It follows a linear narrative structure, cut by period of times, sometimes accompanied by a sentence or two. Every now and then, the story is narrated by the voice-over of Tony Leung's character.
So. 1947. In Shanghai, when all beauties were glimmering, a photograph, Mr Cheng, (Tony Leung Ka Fai) spotted a young girl, Qiyao (Sammi Cheng) whose beauty is even qualified as pure. Introduced to this new world, she encounters Officer Li (Hu Jun) whith whom she starts a love affair, her first love. However, Li, being a Nationalist officer, when the communists won, he has to hide and flee. Qiyao is devasted by the loss of her first love...
The story continues depicting other love relationships with other men in the 50s (Daniel Wu, short appearance though), during the end of the Cultural Revolution, up to the beginning of the opening of China in the 80s (Huang Jue)....
Sometimes it reminded me of HHH or of WKW. However, I'm sure it could have been better. I thought that Tony Leung Ka Fai acted very well and I liked his deep voice and Hu Jun, even if he was mainly present at the beginning gave a short, but well-acted presence. I prefer the last part of the movie, it seemed to be better handled and better played. I wasn't impressed by Sammi Cheng who I thought was too blank (it didn't feel like she was fully in her character) - and I kept thinking especially for the first parts of how it would have been with Maggie Cheung! I was surprised that all the historical facts or elements related to historical events were left very behind. It's easy to follow though.



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