Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan's Everlasting Regret made its debut in Hong Kong on Tuesday, with a galaxy of celebrities attending the premiere.
"It took about two years to make this production, from the script preparation in 2003 to the Venice International Film Festival early this month. The cast is brilliant. I really love this movie," said Sammi Cheng, who plays the main protagonist Wang Qiyao.
The movie was adapted from a novel named Changhen Ge by Wang Anyi. The story tracks a legendary beauty through four decades of upheaval in China, reflected in the changes in her beloved Shanghai — a center of art, literature and style in the 1930s buffeted by the social changes.
Shanghai in the 1930s is glamorous and seductive. A pretty young girl from an ordinary family, Wang is lucky enough to come third in the "Miss Shanghai" contest.
Mr. Cheng (Tony Leung Ka-fai), Wang's admirer knows the girl is going to live an extraordinary life. In 1948, Officer Li (Hu Jun) keeps her as his lover. She accompanies him through dangerous situations, and believes she can spend the rest of her life with. But one day, he disappears and does not return.
In 1956, Wang begins to live a simple life. But the peace is broken when a rich young man Ming (Daniel Wu) shows up.
When Qiyao finally makes a decision to marry him, Ming leaves her. Wang is alone again.
The technique places a lot of responsibility on the actors, particularly Sammi Cheng. "It was a really demanding role requiring a portrayal of the whole life of the character ranging from 10 years old to 50," said Cheng.
The movie, supervised by Jackie Chan, with William Chang as the art director, begins to screen on the mainland from Sept. 29.
(Shenzhen Daily September 22, 2005)