An espionage thriller set in WWII-era Shanghai, in which a young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in a dangerous game of emotional intrigue with a powerful political figure, Mr. Yee.
Release Year: 2007
Rating: 7.6/10 (19,014 voted)
Critic's Score: 61/100
Stars: Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Wei Tang, Joan Chen
Frustrated in his attempts to assassinate Yee, who is an important official in Japanese-ruled Shanghai, Old Wu, who has lost his wife and two sons as well as two women who had attempted to seduce Yee, now recruits Kuang, Mai Tai Tai, and their troupe of drama students from Hong Kong University in yet another attempt to do away with Yee. Mai Tai Tai is chosen to befriend Yee, which she does by posing as the wife of Mak, befriending Yee's wife and her female friends, and then eventually befriending Yee himself. Even though both get together, they do end up going separate ways, only to meet again four years later. This time Mai is all set to entrap Yee at Chandni Chowk Jewellers which is owned by an East Indian man named Khalid Saiduddin. The question does remain: Will she and her troupe succeed?
Writers: Eileen Chang, James Schamus
Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Wong Chia Chi
Mak Tai Tai
Yee Tai Tai
Kuang Yu Min
Chung Hua Tou
Lai Shu Jin
Liang Jun Sheng
(as Ko Yu-Luen)
Auyang Ling Wen
Kar Lok Chin
Ma Tai Tai
Hsiao Tai Tai
Leung Tai Tai
The Trap is Set.
Release Date: 24 September 2007
Filming Locations: Hong Kong, China
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $63,918
(30 September 2007)
(20 January 2008)
Did You Know?
Eileen Chang first began writing the story in the 1950s. After being heavily revised by the author, it was eventually published in 1979.
In the opening scenes in Shanghai, Wong is driven in Mrs Yee's Buick, which must be a 1942 model. A "gunsight" hood ornament is clearly seen. That ornament was not used until 1948. Also, the grille of the car changes from one with bars overlapping the front bumper to one with the bars entirely enclosed. The 1942 Buick did not have bars that overlapped the bumper.
More incredible film-making from Ang Lee
What a movie. I saw this movie yesterday and I'm still thinking about
it. Tony Leung is just awesome. I had seen him in a few movies, I'd
already determined that he's a great actor. I have no problem
understanding what's going on with him without reading the subtitles
because he communicates so much with his eyes. So watching him in this
I was curious to see that something else was coming across than you'd
normally expect. Here he's playing against type and I thought he did a
wonderful job. Definitely Oscar worthy. As is his costar, who I kept
trying to rack my brain for a film I'd seen her in but apparently she's
a newbie. You'd never know it from her performance. It's a true leading
performance since she carries most of the film being in just about
every minute of it. She's great. And how great was it to see Josie
Packard (Joan Chen) again. 🙂
Ang Lee is a genius. He's so good at capturing the emotions of his
characters and actors. It's like he unfolds them so that everything on
the inside is laid bare. From The Ice Storm to Brokeback Mountain to
Lust, Caution he shows you real people and how they love and damage and
betray each other, and more specifically how it feels. That's true
talent. Anyone can point a camera. This is something else entirely.
The film itself is the best espionage film I've ever seen, but that's
not all it is. It's very much like a noir and a war film and romance is
probably the genre that is represented least. I've read a few reviews
mentioning love and falling in it. There is some of that but I think
maybe those people might want to give this one another go. They might
have missed the point.
Who should see this? Adults. But I'm not saying that because of the sex
scenes. I'm 33. I don't know if I would have completely grasped the
emotional complexity of this film 10 years ago. I think you need to
have been kicked around a bit by life to fully appreciate what's
happening here. Anyone who likes old movies, sad movies, good movies.
Bogart fans, noir fans, costume design fans should all enjoy it. I
sincerely hope it gets some recognition around Oscar time. It's my
favorite this year so far.