Luo Haitao has been hired by Wang Ping’s wife to spy on the passionate relationship between her husband and another man, but slowly loses control of the situation. With his beautiful girlfriend, Li Jing, he is drawn in to the affair, overcome by the fever of drunken spring nights.
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Lou Ye explores again human obsessions and passions of a double (or mirrored?) love triangle. Fascinating, raw, sensual and devastating.
As usual, the director doesn't candy-coat his views and ideas, which gives his film(s) a compelling urgency. When cinema is political, artistic and meaningful.
PC. The only fever is that of a camera in constant marabalisms around and against the actors, with the usual jump-cuts, here, truth be said, less present and constant. The fiction is more of the same, two trios that end up in loneliness and memory, but, in certain scenes, the director finds spaces of silence and geometry of looks (like the one picked here) that somehow counteract the noise he has been making.
Another pearl from Lou Ye. Some unedited scenes could have been shorter but the pace similar to Love & Bruises. In terms of a gay romance it was more subtle than Brokeback Mountain - the love scenes graphic but necessary. Lead actors were excellent, determined. Some plots lines added unnecessary twists. Camera's deliberate poor quality advantageous for mood to describe what is a lost society seeking a new identity.
Discovering the filmography of director Lou Ye has been quite a frustrating experience. Some of his films are absolutely wonderful, some not so good. Yet there's usually something to make them worth at least one viewing. Spring Fever says some interesting things, but not enough of them, and not with characters that viewers can become invested in.
The lovely coda provides a glimpse of what this erratic film may have been aiming at. In common with the other two Lou films I've seen, characters behave in impulsive, under-motivated ways while expressing very little emotion - the familiar glum posturing of aloof arty melodrama of uncertain purposes. The movie really deserves 2½ stars rather than 3.