After a positive reception at the Cannes Film Festival last year, romantic film Bends <過界男女>, which tells of a taboo love story between Chen Kun (陳坤) and Carina Lau’s (劉嘉玲) characters, opened in theaters on February 14.
Bends, whose Chinese title literally translates to “Man and Woman Crossing Boundaries,” revolves around the forbidden relationship between the wealthy Anna (Carina Lau) and her lowly driver, Fai (Chen Kun). Though both have spouses, their marital lives are nothing but a source of strife: Anna’s rich husband disappears, leaving her with nothing, whereas Fai’s wife becomes pregnant with the couple’s second child. In order to circumvent mainland China’s One Child Policy, Fai hopes to have his wife cross the border and give birth in Hong Kong, where Anna lives.
Although Chen Kun and Carina have been acquainted for years and previously appeared together in Let the Bullets Fly <讓子彈飛> and Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon <狄仁傑之神都龍王>, Bends marks their first film collaboration in which the two have scenes together. Both thespians were full of praise for their costar: Chen Kun shared in an interview that he appreciated the opportunity to experience the acting of a Hong Kong film queen, while Carina revealed that he paid particular attention to his character’s details.
In order to more closely align himself with Fai’s social status, Chen Kun gained weight and began smoking. During filming, he would often smoke up to three packs a day. However, he shared that what he feared most was messing up a smoking scene, because he would then be forced to smoke until he felt queasy.
Bends is helmed by first-time Hong Kong director Flora Lau (劉韻文), who also penned the screenplay. Backing the film are powerhouse names like producer Nansun Shi (施南生), as well as cinematographer Christopher Doyle (杜可風) and art director William Chang (張叔平), both of whom are known for their work with Wong Kar Wai (王家衛).
“This movie really has its own style and artistic sense,” said Nansun Shi. “Bends even made it to the final rounds of the Un Certain Regard competition at the Cannes Film Festival, which shows that it has attained the approval of different cultures around the world.”
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This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.