Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 70%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Shu Qi
Chang Chen
Mei Fang.
Directors
Hou Hsiao-Hsien.
Screenwriters
Chu Tien-Wen.
Running Time
135 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Tin
3 Star Empire Rating
Last Knights
2 Star Empire Rating
Child 44
2 Star Empire Rating
Sixteen
3 Star Empire Rating
Exit
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Sweet Smell of Success
5 Star Empire Rating

Three Times
Three love stories, spanning a hundred years.


submit to reddit


Plot
Three love stories, set in three times. The pair of lead actors play the couple in each era. In 1911, she's a tea house courtesan and he's a regular. In 1966, he's an army boy on leave, and she's a pool shark. In 2005, She's a rock chick, and he's a photographer. Both are married.


Review
Three Times
Originally intended as a three-handed portmanteau, this exquisite exercise in style and subtle political symbolism instead showcases the different sides of Taiwanese maestro Hou Hsiao-hsien. The three vignettes all feature Shu Qi and Chang Chen playing, in turn, a snooker-hall hostess and a soldier seeking an old flame; a courtesan and a revolutionary; and an epileptic bisexual singer and a fascinated photographer.

Respectively set in 1911, 1966 and 2005, the stories not only capture the essence of their time, but also sequentially echo Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love and Hou’s own Flowers Of Shanghai and Millennium Mambo. Historically and humanly insightful.


Verdict
This is a fascinating exercise in utilising style to make subtle psychological and political statements. But while it looks superb, Hou Hsiao-hsien's triptych doesn't always avoid a melodrama that undermines its artistic integrity.


Reviewed by David Parkinson

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The 15 Most Controversial Alternate Endings
How some of your favourite films could have finished...

80 Of The Best Movie Star Adverts
From Sly Stallone selling bread to Hugh Jackman dancing for Ice Tea

Showrunner Matthew Weiner Reveals 7 Mad Men Secrets
The truth about The Beatles and that lawnmower

New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Breakdown
Everything you need to know about the second teaser

Podcast #157: Alan Rickman
From A Little Chaos to Die Hard and back again

From Hell! 22 Stalker Psychodramas
From fatal attractions to single white females

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon On The Town That Dreaded Sundown
The American Horror Story director on his cult slasher remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 70%
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)