Temptress Moon

Watch Temptress Moon

"What the heart hides, the moon reveals."
  • R
  • 1996
  • 2 hr 10 min
  • 6.7  (1,996)

Temptress Moon is a visually stunning drama that tells a complex story of love, betrayal, and power dynamics in a wealthy Chinese family in the 1920s. Directed by Chen Kaige and starring Leslie Cheung, Gong Li, and Kevin Lin, the film presents a unique perspective on the historical and cultural context of China during that time. The story revolves around the relationship between two cousins, Zhongliang (Leslie Cheung) and Ruyi (Gong Li), who were separated as children and reunited years later. Zhongliang, a dashing and ambitious young man, is sent by his grandfather (played by Xiaoqing Guo) to the family's countryside estate to manage the family's mines. Ruyi, on the other hand, is married to the family's adopted son, Xia Feng (Kevin Lin), who is a weak and ineffectual character.

As Zhongliang begins to assert his authority and implement reforms in the mines, he finds himself drawn to Ruyi, who is living a life of boredom and isolation in the estate. Ruyi, fascinated by Zhongliang's charisma and intelligence, seduces him and ignites a passionate affair. But their relationship is threatened by the jealous Xia Feng, who sees Zhongliang as a rival for Ruyi's love and his own position in the family.

The film's plot is further complicated by the family's internal power struggles and the social and political changes that are taking place in China at that time. The family patriarch is a member of the old aristocracy, who is resisting the encroachment of Western influence and the rise of the Nationalist Party. Meanwhile, the younger generation, represented by Zhongliang and his allies, is trying to modernize and industrialize the country.

Temptress Moon is a visually stunning film, with luxurious set design by Tim Yip and lush cinematography by Peter Pau. The film's sensual atmosphere is matched by a haunting score by Zhao Jiping, which combines traditional Chinese music with Western classical influences.

The performances by the three leads are superb, particularly Gong Li, who gives a nuanced and complex portrayal of Ruyi as a woman torn between her desires and her duties. Leslie Cheung, a renowned Hong Kong actor who tragically committed suicide in 2003, is also excellent in his role as Zhongliang, bringing both charm and vulnerability to the character. Kevin Lin, who was relatively unknown at the time, holds his own as Xia Feng, effectively conveying the character's weakness and insecurity.

Overall, Temptress Moon is a striking and powerful film that offers a unique look at Chinese history and culture. It combines elements of romance, political intrigue, and family drama to create a multi-layered story that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The film's stunning visuals, memorable performances, and evocative score make it a must-watch for fans of Chinese cinema and period dramas in general.

Temptress Moon
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 10 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (1,996)