Rouge

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Fantasy, Romance

The runaway success of GHOST probably had much to do with the art-house release of this supernatural romance from Hong Kong received in the Fall of 1990 (it was made in 1987). Audiences that were lucky or smart enough to find their way to ROUGE were enchanted by this poignant, entertaining film. Fleur (Anita Mui), a high-priced prostitute (she claims a...read more

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The runaway success of GHOST probably had much to do with the art-house release of this supernatural romance from Hong Kong received in the Fall of 1990 (it was made in 1987). Audiences that were lucky or smart enough to find their way to ROUGE were enchanted by this poignant,

entertaining film. Fleur (Anita Mui), a high-priced prostitute (she claims a man once paid $500 just to stroke her neck), commits suicide in 1934 so that she can join her lover, Chan (Leslie Cheung, like Mui, a pop star), in the spirit world. Chan is the scion of a prosperous business family who

won't allow him to see Fleur, so the lovers have opted for a dual suicide. But something has gone wrong. Chan is missing (as it were), and the ghostly Fleur has been wandering alone in the netherworld between Earth and Heaven for more than 50 years, waiting to be reunited with her love. In

desperation, she returns to the natural world, asking a clerk at a newspaper (Alex Man) to place a missing person ad for her. Fleur also takes up residence in the clerk's apartment while waiting for Chan to respond to her ad, which greatly irritates the clerk's girl friend (Emily Chu), a spunky

reporter. But after being convinced that Fleur is who she says she is, the couple embrace her cause, joining their spectral visitor nightly at the location Fleur has designated for her reunion with Chan. Meanwhile, Fleur tells her star-crossed love story to her new friends. However, her time is

running short; the corporeal world is wearing her down, threatening to kill her spirit.

Without giving away the ending, suffice to say it is tragic, ironic, and utterly true to the characters, a heartbreaking acknowledgement of human frailty in the face of a grand obsession that endures beyond the grave. Throughout the film, Fleur's epic passion is contrasted with the fastidious

relationship of her modern host couple. The contemporary couple wonder if they could kill themselves for love, as Fleur did, reaching the honest conclusion that they couldn't. Director Stanley Kwan drenches the slow-moving flashbacks in warm sensuous color, while the modern story has a cooler look

and moves crisply. Still, Kwan invests both of his love stories with vibrant emotions that keep the film lively and engrossing. Fleur and Chan's romance has an idealized dreaminess; the love between their modern counterparts is more like the chirpy sparking of a television sitcom couple. But as

the film goes on, the contemporary twosome becomes more engaging. Their honesty and rational determination to experience their relationship one day at a time prove very winning. In ROUGE romantic obsession exacts a bitter price. But ROUGE wouldn't be much of a movie without it. (Substance abuse,adult situations.)

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: The runaway success of GHOST probably had much to do with the art-house release of this supernatural romance from Hong Kong received in the Fall of 1990 (it was made in 1987). Audiences that were lucky or smart enough to find their way to ROUGE were enchan… (more)

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