ASIAN VALUES DVD REVIEW
the seemingly straight-laced Lui Kei, an actor with a nice-boy
image from those '60s, black-and-white Cantonese movies, do when
the shackles of rigidity in the cinema is lifted from his shoulders?
Sad to say,
as a scriptwriter and director, he doesn't seem to push any boundaries.
For a start, in Adultery, Chinese Style (1973), Lui borrows a
format that is more associated with Li Han-hsiang's erotic films
- the omnibus or anthology style. But for the general audience,
apart from the expectation of sex and nudity, the cast is pretty
top notch - led by sex bombs Betty Ting Pei and Lily Chen Ching
and a male cast that included Lo Lieh, heartthrob Alan Tang Kong
Wing, Woo Fung and even two cameos by the director himself.
must have wondered if they were in the right cinema when the first
two segments hardly showed any skin or sex.
In the first
story, Exhausted, Lo Lieh is married to a rich but rather domineering
wife, a situation which does not leave him much room to dally
around. Realising his wife's aversion to hospitals, Lo fakes illness
and decides to use the hospital room as his playground. Feeling
that such opportunities don't come everyday, Lo decides to bed
six girls, one after another. By the time he has finished with
the fifth, he is already exhausted.
more comical than a sketch in Mad magazine, the first segment
is really pretty lame - the sex act being depicted by a cannon
going off and a montage of erotic Japanese prints!
Chen Ching (left) and Chin Feng.
do not liven up in the next story, Dumpling Noodles. [Let me say
there is nothing here that matches Fruit Chan's Dumplings story
in Three Extreme, but that's another movie entirely.] Every night,
Woo Fung develops a hunger for wanton noodles. While his wife
thinks he is snacking at the hawker stall, Woo is making whoopie
with his neighbour. But unknown to Woo, the petite neighbour is
also having it on with the movie director. While the segment has
more songs than necessary and a bit of nudge-nudge, wink wink,
it is still very tame and this is where the fast forward button
comes in handy.
patience will be partially rewarded (no one can walk away fully
satisfied from this movie) with the last segment, Green Hat. Chin
Feng is married to insatiable Lily Chen Ching but the rigours
of sex leave him pretty much exhausted. Chin certainly feels that
if the wages of sin is death, the hours are certainly damn good.
Still he is trying to keep his hands and eyes off his wife, who
seems to be trying her best to excite her man by removing her
clothes at the slightest whim.
To help keep
his wife occupied, Chin hires an artist to paint a portrait of
his wife but the artist is no more than Chen Ching's lover in
disguise. Meanwhile, Chin's daughter-in-law, Betty Ting Pei, who
has a soft spot for rough sex, finds salvation in her husband's
driver, Alan Tang, who is playing against type. The rest of the
movie finds the respective couples setting up their private assignations
and then hiding their duplicity from the others. Throw in a series
of misunderstandings with comic undertones, and then aim for a
big finish (that includes Bruce Lee-styled flying kicks), only
problem is that the film doesn't quite know how to end.
more than a catalogue of garden variety lust and greed, the film
is really let down by a weak script that moves the characters
about in a sleight-of-hand manner but which hardly get them to
do anything decent (or indecent for that matter).
As anyone can imagine, Adultery, Chinese Style can be quite daring,
largely heartbreaking for the respective families, may be risque
for the parties involved but hardly this pedestrian, especially
for the viewers.
Note: Adultery, Chinese Style is out only on VCD and is not
available in $ingapore.
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