Lady In Black (HK 1987)

Rating: **
Review Date: 9/25/11
Producer: Dean Shek
Cast: Brigitte Lin (Lin Ching Hsia), Tony Leung (Ka Fai), Philip Kwok, Shih Kien

A dark and unpleasant tale of greed, corruption, and revenge. Shen Chan (Tony Leung) talks his sweet wife May (Brigitte Lin) into embezzling $500,000, and then he gambles it away. In a desperate attempt to pay the money back, Shen visits his uncle in Thailand for a loan, but things just go from bad to worse. May accidentally falls off a boat and is left for dead, which allows Shen to basically start over and build his own little empire. He kicks his father-in-law out of the house and has an affair with his boss's daughter, while doing some questionable business with his boss's competition. He doesn't know that May managed to survive the fall, and was left horribly disfigured and without a voice. Then in a strange plot twist, she has surgery to return herself to normal, and then plots revenge on her slimy husband. The climax is raw and brutal, reflecting the ultra-violent trends in Hong Kong cinema at the time. It's a gritty drama so the pacing is rather slow, which makes the film even harder to watch. It benefits from good acting and high production values, but it's just not my idea of a good time.