2001 / 86m - Hong Kong
Drama, Romance
Lan Yu poster


September 07, 2021


I'm not Stanley Kwan's biggest fan, but I do appreciate most of his films. It's remarkable that even a director like Kwan seems to forgo his cinematic signature when doing a gay romance/drama. It appears to be some unwritten law that few directors dare to rebel against, it certainly explains why I'm generally not too taken with these films.

Lan Yu is a young country boy who moves to the big city to study. There he runs into Chen Handong, a rich businessman. The two have a steamy night, but when dawn comes Handong is facing a tough decision. Continue his comfy lifestyle and deny his love for Yu, or start a relationship and put his reputation on the line.

Lan Yu is a decent drama, but nothing more. If the romance and/or characters don't grasp you, there's really nothing here. The cinematography is bland, the soundtrack sparse, performances are middling. And the gay-themed romance is hardly anything that stands out these days. Pretty disappointing.