Hu-Du-Men

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Tailored to fit the impossibly wonderful Josephine Siao, Shu Kei's comedy drama centres on a woman who makes her living playing men on stage and has trouble fulfilling the roles of wife and mother off stage. The film sensibly makes no attempt to disguise the story's own stage origins, but concentrates instead on weaving together the several strands of plot, the emotional complications and the rapid shifts from humour to pathos and back again. The slightly surprising appearance of a lesbian subplot confirms that sexual politics are somewhere on the agenda, but the stance is closer to farce than Freud. Charmingly old-fashioned.

By: TR

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