Writer/director Fong denies that he set out to parody The Last Emperor, but his excellent film certainly kicks the shit out of Bertolucci. It gives Anita Mui her best role since Rouge as the eponymous bisexual spy who sailed through some 25 years of Sino-Japanese tension and war alternately claiming Chinese and Japanese nationality and (according to Fong) covertly intervening in the politics of both sides. The film mocks all the received pieties about modern Chinese history (even the Nanking Massacre is presented in kitsch terms), subordinating them to the high-camp melodrama of Yoshiko's torrid love affairs. Variant endings exist: the one most often seen has Yoshiko executed by firing squad in 1948, but the best one shows her with her pet monkey on her shoulder in present day Tokyo, ageless and immortal.
Andy Lau, Patrick Tse, Derek Yee, Li Pak Wah
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