An explosive first feature by one of the writers of Shower, innovative in structure and style and genuinely daring in theme. After a rude prologue mocking the idea of 'art cinema' it moves into what seems like thriller mode: three young men rob a branch of the Bank of China with practised ease. One of them, Wang Yao (Liao), is about to fly to the US to join his girlfriend; he pauses to call her from a shop phone, hears that she's found someone else, draws a gun on the shopkeeper who wants to curtail the call -- and finds himself the focus of a police siege. Events take a startling turn and the narrative relay is taken up by one of the cops (Li Congxi), who has much the same personal problem as Wang, only more so: his wife (Li Mei) is having an affair and wants to divorce him, while his premature ejaculation problem and insecurity about the size of his penis are pushing him towards impotence. (The green hat, incidentally, was worn by cuckolds in feudal China.) Liu's film owes its frankness about sexual matters and some of its storytelling strategies to Zhu Wen's groundbreaking Seafood, but it's none the less the most striking debut in Chinese cinema since Jia Zhangke's Xiao Wu.
Cast and crew