Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
Two young women find themselves unable to deal with the realities of their contemporary existence and so retreat into the colorful world of a classical Chinese opera from the Ming Dynasty, The Peony Pavilion to find solace in this Taiwanese drama. The film chronicles each woman's story separately. The first story centers on a teen-age virgin in her senior year of high school. Du is a hard worker who is inexorably being forced into the arms of a classmate. Meanwhile her sexuality begins to blossom. Unfortunately, she is not allowed to express this and so begins to fantasize that she is the heroine in the popular opera. In the story the girl is the sheltered daughter of an official who frequently wanders a beautiful garden dreaming of making love to a handsome scholar. Soon Du is totally obsessed with the heroine. She convinces herself that if she kills herself she will finally be able to meet the scholar in the afterlife and so hurls herself from a rooftop. In the second tale, pop singer Liu attempts to cope with her disintegrating career. She also deals with her producer-lover who is quickly drawing away from her. Liu also begins to daydream about the opera. She relates to the scholar and like the girl before her, soon finds herself obsessively becoming the character. Nothing and no one can stop her.
obsession, opera, purity, sexuality, suicide