This movie was released January 25, 2008 and went pretty much unnoticed, which is unfortunate because the film is beautiful. Directed by Jieho Lee, and an all-star cast (Brendan Fraser, Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Kevin Bacon), this is an often violent and unforgiving drama, based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four basic emotional states: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love.
There isn’t a single performance in the film that is lacking. I’ve never seen Brendan Fraser in a dramatic role before, and although he does seem some out of sorts as being a mob enforcer, it’s one of the best performances of his I’ve seen. Fraser has comedic timing and talent in spades, but he brings such depth and complexity to his role.
Sarah Michelle Gellar gives one of the best performances of her career (others being Kathryn in Cruel Intentions, Brett in Suburban Girl and Buffy in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer). Gellar is Trista, a pop star with “hundreds of thousands of fans”, who ends up with Garcia as her manager and who’s life is surrounded by sorrow and sad situations.
Forest Whitaker, Andy Garcia, and Kevin Bacon have smaller roles that are more supporting roles than anything, though they all give superb, outstanding performances.
If you like cerebral movies that challenge your mind and are more than just fluff, this is a movie you should check out.
“Sometimes the things you can’t change end up changing you.” Pleasure (Brendan Fraser)