Current user rating: 84/100 (16 votes)
- Movie: Lan yu
- Chinese: 蓝宇 (Lan yu)
- Director: Stanley Kwan
- Writer: Jimmy Ngai
- Release Date: May 18, 2001
- Runtime: 86 min.
- Language: Mandarin
- Country: Hong Kong, China
Beijing, 1988. On the cusp of middle age, Chen Handong has known little but success all his life. The eldest son of a senior government bureaucrat, he heads a fast-growing trading company and plays as hard as he works. His loyal lieutenant Liu Zheng is one of the few who know that Handong's tastes run to boys more than girls.
Lan Yu is a country boy, newly arrived in Beijing to study architecture. More than most students, he is short of money and willing to try anything to earn some. He has run into Liu Zheng, who pragmatically suggests that he could prostitute himself for one night to a gay pool-hall and bar owner. But Handong happens to be in the pool-hall that evening, and he nixes the deal. He takes Lan Yu home himself, and gives the young man what turns out to be a life-changing sexual initiation.
Handong and Lan Yu meet often, and the boy is soon very secure in his love for the man. But Handong insists that he wants a playmate, not a lifelong companion, and warns Lan Yu that they will eventually break up. "When people get to know each other too well," he says, "inevitably they part." Meanwhile he showers expensive gifts on Lan Yu, expecting to deflect the boy's love by turning it into gratitude or dependency. Lan Yu is undeterred, until the night he arrives at Handong's apartment and finds his lover in the process of seducing a college athlete.
They meet again on the night of 4 June 1989. Handong goes looking for Lan Yu, worried that he might have been caught up in the army's murderous sweep through Tiananmen Square. Handong gives Lan Yu his most lavish gifts yet - a newly built villa on the outskirts of Beijing and a car - and they begin living together as a couple. But again Handong shies away from his feelings for the boy. He enters a whirlwind romance with Jingping, a professional translator who has helped his company in trade negotiations with Russians, and marries her. Lan Yu moves out of the villa, and Handong loses contact with him.
Before long, Handong is divorced. He runs into Lan Yu by chance at the airport one day, and an invitation to try Lan Yu's home cooking leads to a resumption of their relationship. Now, at last, Handong learns to feel and show commitment to his lover - just when his company comes under investigation for smuggling and illegal fund-raising. Handong is facing long-term imprisonment, possible worse, but to the delight of his sister Yonghong and her husband Daning (not to mention Liu Zheng and his other employees) he is bailed out by Lan Yu. The boy sells the villa and the car, and pools the proceeds with his own savings - yielding enough to get Handong out of trouble. Finally, Handong and Lan Yu can be happy together.
But fate can play cruel tricks.
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