Lust, Caution (戒 | 色)

To kill the enemy, she would have to capture his heart....and break her own.

To kill the enemy, she would have to capture his heart....and break her own.

1942, affluent and sophisticated Mrs. Mak enters a posh cafe and makes a phone call to Second Brother. Flashback, 1938 to a shy university freshman girl, Wong Chia Chi left by her father for England after the war broke out. Mrs. Mak isn’t Mrs. Mak but Wong Chia Chi disguised for an ambitious and dangerous ploy to assassinate a top Japanese collaborator, Mr Yee.

In the throes of war, what can a handful of university students do? Kuang Yu Min, the head of Wong Chia Chi’s theater troupe felt they ought to do more than just stir up their audience’s patriotism. They engaged themselves in a plot where each student would have a part to play to kill a country’s traitor. Wong Chia Chi transformed herself inside out to lure Mr Yee into an affair by first befriending his wife. It was to be a play with no rehearsals and only one take. After a significant twist, Wong Chia Chi and Kuang Yu Min becomes more involved with the plot as they become part of the underground resistance group. The deception makes Wong Chia Chi’s identity and emotions hang in the balance.


I never got to watch this movie when the film was released last year. And instead of doing my much needed review for the upcoming JLPT exams this December, I watched this movie instead. I have no regrets, though. This movie is the kind of movie that makes a strong impact on you and somehow makes you a bit different after watching it.

The lighting and cinematography was excellent and aptly sets the mood of the time. Tang Wei as Wong Chia Chi was also superb. To be able to portray so much with those controlled emotions must have been very demanding but she made switching from a shy freshman to a sophisticated married seductress look effortless. Not to mention the graphic sex scenes she had to do. Gad, that MUST have been hard. And Tony Leung (Mr. Yee)… well Tony Leung IS Tony Leung. Enough said. As for Wang Leehom (Kuang Yu Min), maybe the role wasn’t as demanding as Wong Chia Chi but he fairly did well. But did I say that Wang Leehom was drop-dead gorgeous? OMG, ang gwapo niya!!! And did I say he also sings, composes and plays various musical instruments? OMG!!! Tulo laway =P~

On a personal note, I like the movie because I like tragic endings. The movie’s plot must have already been used countless of times but I like the subtlety of how the various elements were portrayed. The movie didn’t have a flowery screenplay (yep, no quotes for me) but the emotions were eloquently portrayed from the acting. Foregoing love for a higher purpose, patriotism, the need to grow up fast in turbulent times, breaking through a cold, unfeeling heart – these elements have all been used before but Lust, Caution makes you see them in a different light.

I was deeply moved when Mr. Yee cried after Wong Chia Chi sang for him. The cold, unfeeling, killing machine traitor was after all, human. The movie also made me think of how far can I go when fighting for my country is in the line. Can I do what Kuang Yu Min did? Can I allow the woman I love put her life in the line and let her body be used by the enemy for a higher purpose?

Well, in the end, Wong Chia Chi chose her emotions over her country which is stupid, but in reality could you really let someone who loves you so much and whose life has changed because of yours (not to mention someone you’ve already learned to love) be killed because of your deception?


Ang jologs nito at walang koneksyon sa pelikula, pero naalala ko lang bigla ang isang quote ni Bob Ong: “Kung hindi mo mahal ang isang tao, wag ka nang magpakita ng motibo para mahalin ka nya..”

Bakit ko ba ito nadagdag? Si Tinats kasi eh, puro Bob Ong ang laman ng diwa 😛

7 Responses to “Lust, Caution (戒 | 色)”

  1. eh kasi naman yan ang linyang paikot-ikot sa utak ko ngayon. atsaka yung isa pa palang bob ong line, and yung isa pa … and uh-oh, it’s never-ending >_<

    mapanood nga yan pero baka naman ma-depress ako.

  2. wehehehe, oo nga pati tuloy ako di ko maalis si bob ong sa utak ko, lalo na yang letseng elevator-hagdan na yan :))

    nope di depressing yung movie. well di ako nadepress. nagustuhan ko siya kasi natotouch ako pag may nakikita akong batong pusong natutunaw 😛 wehehehe. bukod dun, maganda yung pagkakagawa ng film. pero warning lang ha kung papanoorin mo to, daming graphic na sex scenes 😛

    btw, nakadownload ako ng il postino. gusto mo panoorin? 🙂

  3. tama naman. sabi din ni bob ong:
    “Huwag mong bitawan ang bagay na hindi mo kayang makitang hawak ng iba.”
    “Huwag mong hawakan kung alam mong bibitawan mo lang.”

    at isa pa:
    “Kung maghihintay ka nang lalandi sayo, walang mangyayari sa buhay mo.. Dapat lumandi ka din.”


  4. wahahaha, ayan, maglandi tayo!!!


    pero ang favorite ko talaga diyan eh yung tungkol sa elevator at hagdan…

    “Parang elevator lang yan eh, bakit mo pagsisiksikan ung sarili mo
    kung walang pwesto para sayo. Eh meron naman hagdan, ayaw mo lang

  5. Parang kapamilya yan ng mga kumakalat na ‘buti pa ang…’
    tulad ng, ‘buti pa ang gasolina nagmamahal’… o ‘buti pa ang thesis pinaglalaban..’ o ‘buti pa ang hersheys may kisses’ o ‘buti pa ang feasibility study may proposal…’ hahaha

    @yeba di na kailangan ni teil yung huling adbays mo… haha (go figure!) 😀

    lab u teil!

  6. i jojee banojee! hahaha, ganun ba expert? 😛 mishu

  7. […]   Image from the movie Lust, Caution from the fantastic Infernal Blog of Doom:…/ […]

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