“The Trap is Set.”
WWII Japanese-occupied Shanghai: a naive young woman, Wang Jiazhi, gets swept up in an assassination plot against a powerful and enigmatic political figure, Mr. Yee. Gaining intimate access to her dangerous prey, she must struggle with her own identity in order to pull off the performance of a lifetime.
Within the framework of an erotic espionage thriller – whose plot suggests Alfred Hitchock’s Notorious – Ang Lee constructs a complex and oblique love story that explores the nature of identity, sacrifice and obsession. Beautifully nuanced both visually and psychologically, this is a film of deceptive subtlety that springs shut in its final moments like a steel trap.