Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Andrew Lau Wai-Keung directs this slick erotic drama loosely based on the exploits of lowly imperial concubine Yu-lan, who eventually grew to be the most powerful person in the royal court. As soon as the lithe young Yu-lan (Chingmy Yau) enters the palace grounds, she garners the attention of the Emperor Hsien-feng (Yu Rongguang). Yet when a jealous colleague boils her pet cat, Yu-lan freaks out and kills the woman. She is saved from prison by the dashing Prince Kung (Tony Leung Kar-fai), who covers up the crime. After learning some of the finer points of lovemaking from some veteran prostitutes, she wins the Emperor over with her bedroom skills and feminine wiles. Soon, she bears His Majesty a son. When the emperor dies, she becomes the Empress Dowager, ruling the nation with her handsome Prince Kung by her side.