Rouge (film)

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For the Kieślowski film, see Three Colors: Red.
Rouge
Rougefilm.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Stanley Kwan
Produced by Jackie Chan
Leonard Ho
Written by Yau Tai Ping On
Lilian Lee Pik Wah
Starring Anita Mui
Leslie Cheung
Music by Michael Lai
Tang Siu Lam
Cinematography Bill Wong
Edited by Peter Cheung
Production
  company
Golden Harvest
Golden Way Films
Release date(s) 7 January 1988 (1988-01-07)
Running time 96 min / USA:93 min
Language Cantonese
Box office HK$17,476,414

Rouge (Chinese: 胭脂扣; pinyin: Yānzhī kòu; Cantonese Yale: Yìnjì kau; Jyutping: Jin1zi1 kau3) is a 1988 Hong Kong film, directed by Stanley Kwan. The movie is the adaptation of the novel by Lilian Lee.

Plot[edit]

Chan Chen-Pang, better known as the "12th Young Master" (played by Leslie Cheung), was a fashionable playboy who frequented the opium dens prevalent in Hong Kong in 1934, where he met the high-class and much sought-after courtesan, Fleur (Anita Mui).

They began a passionate love affair, something frowned upon by the family of 12th Master, who held sway over the business of the area. Clearly, their love was doomed when it was found out. Seeing no way to pursue their love in life, on 8 March at 11pm, the couple resolved to commit suicide together by swallowing opium, and promise to meet again in the afterlife. After waiting for Chan in hell for 50 years, Fleur returns to the world of the living to look for him, wondering why he has not emerged. A spirit now, she searches for her lover in a Hong Kong she no longer recognizes. She decides to place a newspaper advertisement seeking Chan (using the code "3811", to indicate the eighth day of the third month at eleven pm, the time of their suicide), and enlists the assistance of Yuen (Alex Man) and his understandably suspicious girlfriend, Chor (Emily Chu).

Fleur did find her lover in the end, but she was surprised, dismayed and felt cheated, as Chen-Pang did not die in the suicide pact. How he survived the suicide attempt was not explained, but Fleur seemed to have understood that he had not been entirely honest on his part. Not surprisingly, due to his wayward and flirtatious nature, he was reduced to poverty where he lived to be an old and forgotten man well into his late 70s, making a living as a Chinese opera stand-in and living in the cramped quarters of the opera set itself. Recognising Fleur instantly, he begged her for her forgiveness but his pleas fell on deaf ears. As she drifted effortlessly away, Fleur realised that he had indeed suffered much more than she had, as his guilty conscience haunted him for so many years. She returned the rouge case he gave her 50 years ago. Retribution has been paid in kind and she was content to leave as the living world is no longer her home.

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