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Review: Spring Fever

Artful, dreary, and pointless
By PETER KEOUGH  |  December 8, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

 

Director Lou Ye takes his noir seriously: most of this forlorn love triangle (or pentangle, as five individuals are involved) unravels almost invisibly in darkness and shadows. Or maybe he wanted to conceal the details of the gay sex scenes from Chinese censors. Whatever the reason, the near-black screens backed by groans on the soundtrack add to a gloomy atmosphere that's already enervating and lugubrious. Lin Xue (Jiang Jiaqi) hires photographer Luo Haitao (Chen Sicheng) to get shots of her philandering husband, Wang Ping (Wu Wei), in flagrante with former drag queen Jiang Cheng (Qin Hao). But Haitao makes the fatal voyeur's error of contacting the object of his gaze, whereupon he starts his own affair with the jaded Cheng. As a result, everyone gets just a bit more miserable — and that includes Haitao's long-suffering girlfriend, Li Jing (Tan Zhuo), who goes along with Haitao and Cheng for the ride. Artful, dreary, and pointless — it's time for Lou Ye to lighten up.

  Topics: Reviews , movie review, Noir, Spring Fever,  More more >
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