15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
About time - intelligent film about sexuality,
This review is from: Lust, Caution [DVD] (DVD)The controversy around the film is ridiculous - as is hype around its so called S&M aspects. The simplest way past these is by focusing on the specifics - this is not claiming to be a film about men and women in general.
The film is a intelligent and clear-eyed exploration of ayoung woman's sexual development and search for identity in the unfortunate, brutal circumstances of hostile occupation by a foreign power (metaphor in itself but I'll leave that bone for some enterprising film student to pick).
In this film a emotionally isolated young woman has her need to belong and be noticed exploited - first unwittingly by her mates, then, it is implied, more knowingly, by the underground movement - as she is drawn into games of pretend and make-believe that go all the way to the sexual arena.
In her lack of experience (both life&sexual) she is first no match for the target chosen for her: a paranoid, damaged man who's sexuality is heavily marked by his (justified) fear of death. It would be a miracle if his particular needs would not have a potent impact on her fledgeling sexuality in their complex sexual encounters.
And as if physical intimacy was not enough, a certain intimacy is also created by the fact that her comrades are so uneasy around sex and sexuality that her experiences with him have made her an alien to them.
It is her victory that in this environment she finally starts to carve an identity for herself and make her own choices, how ever misjudged in terms of consequence. I found it fully understandable that she would find it thouching when he, in the end, attempts to give her what he thinks she wants, and how perversely sorry she must have felt for him when he finally forgets to fear her. It goes to show the difficulty of sustaining detachment in sexual relations - where there is lust, caution: your heart is not far away, and it may trample your logic.
A truly adult film - forget the puns.