Directed by Ang Lee, “Lust, Caution” is set in Japanese occupied China in the 1940’s. The actors speak primarily in Chinese, and there are English language subtitles. We meet a group of college students, actors who are looking to do something important to help the Chinese overcome the Japanese oppression. They end up getting in really deep when, almost on a whim, they decide to become spies to assassinate one of the Chinese leaders who is in cahoots with the Japanese. Their plan goes awry, and they are separated for years, only to meet up again, this time with government help, to attempt their plan again.
The plan centers around a young girl who must go undercover to befriend this man’s wife, and then seduce the man to earn his confidence and trust. The girl is amazingly good at what she does, for being so naive and scared, she is absolutely committed to the cause.
The movie is rated NC-17. There are lots of graphic, violent sex scenes. This is not a movie for the faint of heart. But the story is solid, and compelling. We care about these people, and we learn a little bit about what was going on during that time in history. This is more than a drama, it’s a tragedy, and it will stay in your mind for days.