Friday, March 24, 2017
      ( 4:57 PM ) posted by Setsuled  

If you like men, be thankful you haven't met this one, the dangerously attractive subject of Wong Kar-wai's 1990 film noir Days of Being Wild (阿飛正傳). Maybe I should call it a film chartreuse since cinematographer Christopher Doyle seems to've put the whole thing through a green filter. But it gives the film an appropriately drowned quality. Green also being a colour typically associated with obsession, particularly via Hitchcock, the characters in this nice drama seem to be chained to the bottom of a pond choked with aphrodisiac algae.

The film stars three famous Cheungs--Leslie, Maggie, and Jacky, none of whom are related. Leslie Cheung plays the homme fatale named Yuddy who spends most of the film barely conscious, seemingly unsure reality deserves being fully awake for. For some reason, two beautiful women lose their minds over him.

The first heart he slouches his way into belongs to a clerk named Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung). She seems annoyed by him at first but he tells her she'll dream about him. We later see her sleeping with a smile on her face and in her next encounter with Yuddy, even though she never confirms that she did in fact see him in her dream, Maggie Cheung makes it clear with her performance. Even as she tells him to leave she makes a point of finding ways to stand as near him as possible.

Their relationship doesn't last long and soon Yuddy's sleeping with a fractious showgirl named Mimi (Carina Lau). Both women sleep with Yuddy against their better judgement--Su Lizhen because she doesn't believe in casual sex and Mimi because her pride won't suffer a guy like Yuddy whose indolence requires him to be in charge of a relationship. Yuddy has a plot where he's seeking his birth parents and maybe there's some suggestion that his foster mother, a prostitute (Rebecca Pan), somehow explains his simultaneous appeal to and disconnect from women. Mostly he functions as a sort of black hole as we watch Mimi and Su Lizhen struggle with the mysterious gravitational pull of his charisma.

The film certainly lacks the psychological insight of Kar-wai's later dramas which are hinted at in a friendship between Su Lizhen and a police officer (Andy Lau). But with such beautiful actors in the smoky, lovely cinematography, some idea is conveyed of the maddening lure presented by the prospect of a physical relationship with Yuddy.

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