Lost in Beijing Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Set against the frenzied backdrop of Beijing, where a fast growing economy has created a new class of urban socialites and nouveau riche, Lost in Beijing features four of Asian cinema’s biggest stars - Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Elaine Jin, Fan Bingbing and Tong Da Wei - who together fumble their way through a tragicomic ménage-a-quatre that left the Chinese censors blazing. An-kun and his wife Ping-guo have built a modest living for themselves following their move to the capital from China’s poorer northeast. An-kun works washing the windows of Beijing’s skyscrapers while Ping-guo earns a decent wage as a masseuse at the Gold Basin Foot Massage Palace, a popular parlor owned by Dong, a rich middle-aged businessman who epitomizes China’s new money-obsessed society. When Ping-guo returns to the massage parlor following a liquid lunch break with one of her coworkers, Dong finds her sprawled across a couch in his office. Exploiting her drunken state, he awkwardly forces himself on her, not realizing that An-kun, atop his perch outside the office window, is a witness to what is happening. Seeing this as a moneymaking opportunity, An-kun decides to blackmail Dong – either he pays or he gets brought up on charges for rape. But when Ping-guo learns that she’s pregnant, the stakes get even higher.
    In a brokered deal that includes An-kun, Ping-guo, Dong and Dong’s wife Wang-mei, the fate of the child will join the two couples in an emotional game of tug of war, where the sides will split over money and revenge, but where love and redemption may rise above them all. (New Yorker Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Money (and maybe a little bit of love) makes the world go around in Lost in Beijing, an involving, highly accessible portrait of an emotional menage a quatre in the modern-day Chinese capital.
  2. 70
    In spite of its raw, explicit moments, the film is at heart a sturdy morality tale about innocence and corruption, wealth and want, sex and power.
  3. Part soap opera, part sitcom and part relocated French farce.
  4. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    The prevalent shooting style is monotonous naturalism, as the camera buzzes between contentious actors and trolls after anything on the move. No performance registers quite so much as the capital city itself.
  5. 50
    The story is contrived. Would you believe a high-rise window-washer just happening to be cleaning the window of the room where, at that very moment, his wife is being raped by her boss? Didn't think so.
  6. The script by first-time director Li Yu and producer Fang Li introduces some degree of subtlety in the responses of the four principals, but the plot doesn't really hold up.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. ChadS.
    May 26, 2008
    Lin Dong(Tony Leung Ka Fai) rapes Ping Guo(Bingbing Fan), but "Lost in Beijing" doesn't hold it against him. The foot massage parlour owner is given some leeway, because he's not the one who initiates the sexual encounter. Ping Guo might've been drunk, but she sobers up just in time. She reneges; he proceeds, nevertheless. All the parties involved, however, decide on downgrading Lin Dong's misadventure from rape to a one night stand. "Lost in Beijing" is dishonest for not addressing the boss' moral mishap after An Kun(Dawei Tong) and his wife's rapist reach a settlement. "Lost in Beijing" looks like an unintentional black comedy, as the rapist helps his victim throughout her pregnancy. When the baby is born, Lin Dong turns out to be a doting father. He even becomes an object of sympathy after the baby's whereabouts is in question. He's a worried and concerned father, too. Even Ping Guo herself seems unaware that she'd been sexually violated. She never tells An Kun what transpired before he saw her body in rhythm with her boss. That's because Lin Dong says she had an orgasm. She enjoyed the sex, so it wasn't rape. Because Ping Guo is silent, she seems to agree. "Lost in Beijing" has the same mentality as the Irish fathers who sent their "soiled" daughters to the Catholic-run sweat shop in Peter Mullan's "The Magdalene Sisters". Expand