Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Movie Review - Lost in Beijing (2007)

This movie aired on SBS a few weeks ago, I have been meaning to write a movie review and I finally have some time to do so.

This film caused a lot of controversy for the themes it explores (blackmail) and gratuitous love scenes. After delays in the film's release, the film was then banned by Chinese Authorities.

Lost in Beijing, follows the lives of 2 couples and how their lives are forever changed when they cross paths. Liu Pingguo (Fan Bingbing) and her husband, An Kun (Tong Dawei) are a young couple who have moved to Beijing to seek a better life. Liu Pinggao works as a foot masseuse, An Kun works as a window washer. Liu Pinggao works for Lin Dong (Tony Leung Ka Fai), the owner of the massage parlour, his wife, Wang Mei (Elaine Jin) practices Chinese medicine.

One day, Liu Pingguo is incredibly drunk at work and her middle aged boss Lin Dong takes advantage of the situation and rapes her. Her husband witnesses the ordeal and he thinks that she was having an affair. An Kun is furious with her and takes revenge by sleeping the Lin Dong's wife. Liu Pinggao blackmails her boss for a sum of money, telling him she won't report him for rape or tell her husband what really happened. Lin Dong agrees.

There lives get more tangled up when Liu Pinggao finds out she's pregnant and she doesn't know who the father is. Surprisingly, the middle aged couple really wants a child in their lives. They agree to support Liu Pinggao through her pregnancy in return for the baby.

This is one intriguing film. It was fascinating to watch how the dynamic of the relationships changed and evolved throughout the film. We see the barbaric rapist acting like Liu Pinggao's husband, being overly concerned during her pregnancy. Lin Dong desperately wants a baby in his life. We watch An Kun having hope that the baby is his, he starts to regret his agreement in giving up the baby.

I found myself glued to drama that was unfolding between the 2 couples. It was refreshing that the film was not predictable at any stage. It explores the complicatons in life and hard decisions people make in order to survive. The four leading actors took on the roles fearlessly, especially Tony Leung. I started out detesting the character and somehow found myself empathising with him later on in the film.

This isn't a love story, it's a film that will challenge your values.

4/5 stars

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