TV, re-rating. Expectations are too often unfair. When i saw this movie at its premiere, in a movie theater, it seemed to me an unbearable and unexpected academic deviation in Cronenberg's work. Now, I was surprised by its subtle variation within itself. Made after "Naked Lunch", with a less exposed but not inferior notion of metamorphosis and hallucination, where M is for Madam, but also for Mister, Man and Me...
Certainly it came out following "The Crying Game" though the way John Lone portrays Song is different from Jaye Davison's character in that film; Lone goes beyond being distinguished as either male or female by the end, that we realize identity in masculinity or femininity is no different from one's choice of politics or race. Occidental or Oriental, Man or Woman, love and devotion transcend these ideations.
Having not read any plot summary or read about this story, I went blindly into it like Jeremy Irons' character is blinded by his love for his "butterfly". This film definitely needs time because the third act makes it all worthwhile. This is when the whole film and its tragic beauty revealed itself to me. A very underrated Cronenberg film. 3.5 stars
An intelligent, searing attack on 'exoticism', gender and East-versus-West relations, unfortunately Cronenberg's adaptation falls flat overall. The pacing is sluggish, the visuals are blandly conventional and John Lone is NO Jaye Davidson, seeming too stiff and miscast with his blank features and broad shoulders to play the seductive/'perfect' Eastern woman
A departure from Cronenberg's usual work, and probably his weakest. As with the similarly themed 'The Crying Game', she was so obviously a man from the very beginning, it's hard to buy his obsession with her. Great performance from Jeremy Irons and beautiful cinematography and production design, but the story failed to be very compelling on any level.
A very underrated Cronenberg film. It is a story of identity- sexual and cultural. If it feels trite and obvious in its early stages, give it time. The third act provides a nuanced commentary on the risks of cultural stereotyping and the dangers to self of perpetuating them.