Lost In Beijing (2007) (DVD) (Uncut) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All
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YesAsia Editorial Description
Massage girl Pingguo (Fan Bingbing) lives in a cramped apartment with her bad-tempered window cleaner husband Kun (Tong Dawei), barely eking by on their minuscule pay. When Pingguo gets raped by her boss Lin (Tony Leung) one afternoon, Kun, who is washing the windows of the building, witnesses the act. The enraged Kun tries to get even first by (unsuccessfully) blackmailing Lin, then by sleeping with Lin's wife (Elaine Kam). The relationships get even more tangled when Pingguo discovers she's pregnant. With the paternity of the baby up in the air, Kun, who is eager for money, strikes a deal with Lin, who is eager for a son.
|Product Title:||Lost In Beijing (2007) (DVD) (Uncut) (Hong Kong Version) 蘋果 (2007) (DVD) (未經刪剪版) (香港版) 苹果 (2007) (DVD) (未经删剪版) (香港版) 蘋果 (DVD) (ノーカット版) (香港版) Lost In Beijing (2007) (DVD) (Uncut) (Hong Kong Version)|
|Artist Name(s):||Tony Leung Ka Fai (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | Elaine Jin (Actor) | Tong Da Wei (Actor) | Miyake Nao 梁 家輝 (Actor) | 范冰冰 (Actor) | 金燕玲 (Actor) | 佟 大為 (Actor) | 三宅尚子 梁 家辉 (Actor) | 范冰冰 (Actor) | 金燕玲 (Actor) | 佟 大为 (Actor) | 三宅尚子 梁家輝 （レオン・カーファイ） (Actor) | 范冰冰 （ファン・ビンビン） (Actor) | 金燕玲（イレイン・カム） (Actor) | 佟大為 （トン・ダーウェイ） (Actor) | Miyake Nao Tony Leung Ka Fai (Actor) | Fan Bing Bing (Actor) | Elaine Jin (Actor) | Tong Da Wei (Actor) | Miyake Nao|
|Director:||Li Yu 李玉 李玉 Li Yu Li Yu|
|Subtitles:||English, Traditional Chinese|
|Place of Origin:||China|
|Picture Format:||NTSC What is it?|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.78 : 1, Widescreen|
|Sound Information:||Dolby Digital|
|Region Code:||All Region What is it?|
|Package Weight:||120 (g)|
|Shipment Unit:||1 What is it?|
|YesAsia Catalog No.:||1010040591|
* Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
Director: Li Yu
The life of a young migrant worker couple who moves into the fashionable nightclub district in Beijing is plunged into turmoil as the wife is raped by her boss at the foot massage parlor. The husband's jealousy and anger is dissipated when he decides to blackmail the rapist, but things become even more problematic when he finds out his wife is pregnant and either man might be the father. LOST IN BEIJING is a controversial assessment of human desires and greed in a China undergoing rapid economic expansion.
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features
Professional Review of "Lost In Beijing (2007) (DVD) (Uncut) (Hong Kong Version)"
Notorious on the film-fest circuit for incurring the wrath of Chinese censors prior to release, Lost in Beijing gets off to a claustrophobic, alienating start. This Beijing-set tale of adultery, chicanery, and assorted human crappiness is told free of comfy cinema technique, like establishing shots, static camera, or emotion created through calculated montage. Basically, the stuff designed to elicit a programmed audience response is largely missing, replaced here by a surprisingly funny, dark semblance of reality. Director Li Yu uses mostly moving camera to tell her story, taking us directly into her characters' lives in all their dirty, ugly glory. The result is a film that can really turn an audience off, as it carries no positive payoff or uplifting reward. At the same time, the film manages to be darkly entertaining and even powerful thanks to a cynical wit and glimpses into recognizable human ugliness.
Fan Bing-Bing stars as Pingguo, who works at a massage parlor for Lin (Tony Leung Ka-Fai), her whoring but otherwise professional boss. Pingguo is married to window washer Kun (Tong Dawei), a fact that she keeps secret from her employer, and the two share a meager existence not unexpected for recent country-to-city transplants in Beijing. But things change when Lin rapes Pinguo; he finds her drunk in the massage parlor offices and proceeds to act on his poorly tamed libido. Kun, who's washing the windows outside, witnesses the crime, and is at first incensed. But Kun's anger gives way to greed; he attempts to blackmail Lin, threatening to tell the cops if he doesn't give up some cash. Lin won't bow to Kun's blackmail, but Pingguo's threats - using her semen-stained clothes as proof - keep her employed. Once Kun tells Lin's wife (Elaine Kam) of the situation, she has her own solution: rape Lin's wife in retaliation for Lin raping his wife. He obliges - with her consent, naturally - and everyone is now guilty, save perhaps Pingguo.
Things get even more screwed when Pingguo discovers that she's pregnant. The baby could be either Kun's or Lin's, and Pingguo is loath to keep it given the circumstances. However, Kun uses the pregnancy as another opportunity for blackmail. This time it works, because Lin and his wife have never been able to conceive, and Lin desperately wants a child. The two men strike a cynical, damning bargain, with Lin getting the unborn child and Kun getting the money. But that's just the beginning for this ménage-a-quatre, as each jockeys for what they want, usually disregarding morality or common decency along the way. Lin wants the child, but with the comely Pingguo around, he may want something else. Mrs. Lin also wants the child, but she absolutely does not want Lin to spend more time with the younger and more attractive Pingguo. Kun wants the money, but if the child does turn out to be his, his ego won't allow him to simply let go. The lone holdout for moral murkiness is Pingguo, who's pulled in multiple directions. Now out of control, the situation spins in a sometimes darkly humorous and ultimately inescapable direction.
The title Lost in Beijing implies a sort of socio-cultural significance, though it's arguable if the film truly achieves that. Besides the characters' obvious economic and social differences, Li Yu sometimes resorts to shaky montages set on the streets of Beijing, highlighting the varying class strata in passing. Still, what goes on with the main characters is more about their familiar and flawed personalities than some sort of grand thematic tale of class difference. This is a story that could conceivably take place anywhere, as the human ugliness on display seems very universal. The characters are given many chances to do honorable things, but they frequently deny those chances, opting for self-gratification or material wealth over common decency. What's surprising is how each character manages to shift sympathy as the film progresses. Lin is a seeming rat bastard when it comes to women, but his attitudes towards family and money are surprisingly decent. Conversely, Kun's pragmatism gives way to a despicable greed, though he manages to show a heart when not blinded by ego or jealousy. Lost in Beijing's characters are so pathetic that they end up feeling very real, earning empathy while also repelling us.
Li Yu's handheld camera adds to the immediacy and seeming reality of the film, frequently finding humor that's both funny and quite sad. Tony Leung Ka-Fai overacts admirably as Lin, managing to be both likable and despicable, while Tong Dawei and Elaine Kam portray their reprehensible, yet sometimes pathetic and pitiable characters with admirable abandon. The film belongs to Fan Bing-Bing, however, who ditches her usual flower vase image with a gutsy performance as the vulnerable, yet resolute Pingguo. The situations in Lost in Beijing are sometimes exaggerated, but the storytelling, cinematography and performances keep the film grounded, such that it feels like it could actually happen. Li Yu convinces us of the reality of the situation, giving the film its status as both a well-observed drama and a darkly entertaining comedy of human crappiness. The circumstances may not be so extreme, but you can probably see people behaving like this in real life. These characters could be lost almost anywhere, and not just in Beijing.
by Kozo - LoveHKFilm.com
Customer Review of "Lost In Beijing (2007) (DVD) (Uncut) (Hong Kong Version)"
See all my reviews
November 4, 2008
|I don't see how this can be called 'uncut' as everything seems to be censored. The plot is poorly thought out and on many instances there are long pauses. Character personalities are mostly bland or dull, and that scene which got this DVD banned in China is fully clothed.|
See all my reviews
March 2, 2008
Modern day story of the Fall
Those who see "Lost in Beijing" as making sweeping social or cultural statements about contemporary China may be making a mistake. I suspect the clue to understanding this gritty and suspenseful film lies in the movie's Chinese title, "Ping Guo" or "Apple". This is not merely the name of the film's central character; it inevitably brings to mind the story of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. "Lost in Beijing", then, is a story about sin and its metastasizing consequences.
Pingguo (Fan Bingbing), her husband Kun (Tong Dawei), and her best friend Xiao Mei (Zeng Meihuizi) have come to Beijing from their small town to build better lives for themselves. Pingguo and Xiao Mei work at a foot massage parlor owned by Lin (Tony Leung Ka-Fai); Kun works as a window-washer on office towers. Problems arise when Xiao Mei is fired for slashing off the toenail of a customer after he tries to become to too familiar with her. Pingguo and Xiao Mei drown their sorrows at a drunken lunch, then Pingguo returns to work and passes out. When Lin sees her supine body, he decides to have his way with her. By an astonishing coincidence, Kun happens to be washing the window of the room in which the abuse is occurring and he witnesses the event.
Kun and Pingguo become obsessed with obtaining some kind of recompense for Lin's behavior. For a while the film feels as if it is going to become a tawdry version of "The Story of Qiu Ju", until the plot becomes complicated further by Pingguo's pregnancy. With the father of this new life unknown, the characters' scheming machinations go into high gear. Lin, longing for a son, offers Pingguo and Kun a fortune if they will give the child to Lin. Kun lets greed overcome anger and agrees to sell the baby, if tests prove the baby to be Lin's. But this only begins to scratch the surface of the depths to which Kun will sink to grasp the money Lin offers.
Director Li Yu masterfully pulls the strings on the complex schemes of the film's soiled characters. After a rough start with three excessively graphic sex scenes in the first 21 minutes, the film becomes a Hitchcockian brew of mixed motives. Cinematographer Wang Yu's handheld camerawork creates a jittery mood of intimacy and immediacy that heightens the suspense. The film's cast is superb, with Leung Ka-Fai stirring up another powerhouse performance as Lin, a man with larger-than-life appetites and desires. Also memorable is Tong Dawei, whose Kun becomes a simmering cauldron of anger and greed.
While I suspect that I would have preferred a less graphic version of the film, I definitely can recommend "Lost in Beijing" very, very highly for a mature audience. This raw tale of sin and its consequences will stay with you for a long while.