EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN
DIRECTOR: ANG LEE
CINEMATOGRAPHY: JONG LIN
CAST: Sihung Lung, Kuei-Mei Yang, Chien-Lien Wu, Yu-Wen Wang, Winston Chao, Lester Chen, Chao-Jung
Chen, Chin-cheng Lu
SUPER FEATURES: The food sure is appetizing.
Like Ang Lee's previous film, this one is funny, sad, wonderful, boring, interesting, all wrapped up into one package. As usual, the story is
about the Chinese in a new place and time, in America, and their adjustments to life, in general.
But, unlike, THE WEDDING BANQUET, this one is funnier for many reasons. The word is eccentric. And the bottom line is that we will never understand one man's thinking, let alone one woman's. And the inevitable suggestion is that a misplaced national of any kind, makes even more irrational decisions. And EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN, gives us just such a wonderful twist.
Chu, has been a master chef for a long time. And since his wife died, his way of enjoying life has been to cook up feasts for his three daughters at least once a week on Sundays. But the meal is overdone, in that there is too much which the daughters can not even eat or touch anymore. For Chu, burying himself in work life this is easier than facing the world, or his daughters, with their ever present love life. His is nil.
And one day, he has finally gotten tired of the lack of appreciation by his family. He decides to make a little time for himself, and even comes up with a girlfriend. But, here the surprise is unwrapped, like a sumptuous meal. And, like a great chef, another dish is served. But this time it is not in the restaurant or the home. It is his feeling, that has finally been defined enough, that he does something about.
With some nice touches here and there, the cinematography around the food is rather interesting. It uses a fast cutting style, to show the fast way that a chef thinks and acts in most cases. But, in life, it is all slow. The daughters can never make up their minds, and Chu can't decide between retirement, or hiding. Well, he ends up doing neither.
A fun film to enjoy, it does stand out. Ang Lee is letting us see a side of the Chinese life, that we never had anticipated in the movies. And for once, the characters are not card board, or stereo types. And it has some nice touches. The food is just amazing. Makes your mouth water. The film isn't quite that good, but it sure teases enough.
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