Friday, May 9, 2008

Lost in Beijing (Ping Guo) DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Features Chinese Revenge Drama Worthy of Jerry Springer

Ping Guo (Bingbing Fan) and An Kun (Dawei Tong), a young couple from the sticks, moved to Beijing in search of a higher standard of living. Thusfar, however, life in the big city has been a bit of a bust, since the only work she could find was in a sleazy massage parlor, and he had to settle for a dangerous job as a skyscraper window-washer.
The two made do until the fateful day her rich boss (Tony Leung Ka Fai) decided to force himself on her. Wouldn’t you know it, but An Kun just happened to be squeejeeing the plate glass of the room as Liu pounced on his wife, and he had to watch helplessly while dangling outside on the scaffolding.
Rather than report the assault to the authorities, An Kun comes up with the bright idea of asking the attacker’s wife, Mei (Elaine Jin) for money to keep quiet. But she says her husband would rather save face than pay blackmail. Then, angry that her husband had cheated on her, Mei suggests that the two of them sleep together, like their spouses had, implying that the rape had been consensual.
An Kun agrees and the two embark on a steamy affair. And that might have been the end of it, except that his wife misses her next period. Pregnant, the question becomes “Who’s the daddy?”
This is the intriguing, incestuous scenario which unfolds in Lost in Beijing, as messy a dysfunctional relationship drama as you could hope to witness on screen. And as complicated as what you’ve just read sounds, the plot only thickens as the baby’s birth approaches.
Without giving away any of this riveting romp’s unpredictable developments, suffice to say that our compromised protagonists find themselves in a complicated predicament about as easy to unscramble as egg drop soup. How do you say “Jerry Springer” in Mandarin?

Excellent (4 stars)
In Mandarin with subtitles.
Running time: 113 minutes
Studio: New Yorker Video
DVD Extras: Theatrical trailer and a booklet interview with the director.

No comments: