Far less measured and 'artful' than Lin's previous films, this low-life romance fizzily blends humour and violence, tragedy and sex. Betelnuts offer a mild (legal) high, sold in Taiwan - mostly to passing truckers and taxi drivers - from roadside stands staffed by under-dressed young women with links to organised crime. Fei-Fei (Sinje) runs away from her prying mother to run a betelnut stand. Feng (Chang), a young assistant baker just out of military service, falls hard for her and gets drawn into the world of her 'protector' Tiger and his rival Guang (Gao, in dreadlocks, shaping up as one of Taiwan's best actors). Things end badly, but there's none of the forced melancholy found elsewhere in Taiwanese cinema.
Cast and crew