6.2/10
1,115
24 user 26 critic

Purple Butterfly (2003)

Zi hu die (original title)
Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a ... See full summary »

Director:

Ye Lou

Writer:

Ye Lou

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Ziyi Zhang ... Cynthia / Ding Hui (as Zhang Ziyi)
Ye Liu ... Situ (Szeto)
Yuanzheng Feng Yuanzheng Feng ... Xie Ming
Tôru Nakamura ... Hidehiko Itami
Bingbing Li ... Tang Yiling
Kin Ei Kin Ei ... Yamamoto
Leni Lan Crazybarby Leni Lan Crazybarby ... A zi (as Lan Yan)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seiichiro Hashimoto Seiichiro Hashimoto ... (as Sciichiro Hashimoto)
Felicia Pullam Felicia Pullam ... Russian Prostitute (as Fellicia Pullam)
Cheryl Xie ... (as Li Xie)
Anlian Yao
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Storyline

Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a secret police unit tasked with dismantling Purple Butterfly. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Palm Pictures DVD site

Country:

China | France

Language:

Mandarin | Japanese | Vietnamese

Release Date:

17 September 2004 (Greece) See more »

Also Known As:

A Borboleta Púrpura See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,970, 28 November 2004

Gross USA:

$17,790

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,790
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Hidehiko Itami: Yamamoto isn't coming. He's dead. Your mission is accomplished.
Hidehiko Itami: Xie Ming won't be coming either. He's dead too. I did my job as well.
Hidehiko Itami: We can go to Tokyo now. We've won, Cynthia.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Moon Of A Garden Bridge
Music by Shigeru Tamura
Lyrics by Sônosuke Satô
Performed by Utako Matsushima
Courtesy of King Record Company Co. Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
War-time intrigue minus the intrigue.
31 March 2005 | by aliasanythingyouwantSee all my reviews

There are a few things director Ye Lou likes more than I do: silent, open-mouthed screams, rain and quick dissolves. His movie Purple Butterfly is composed mainly of these things, with glimpses in-between of a story about two lovers caught up in the Japanese occupation of Manchuria during the '30s.

I know what I'm supposed to think of this movie: it's a tone-poem, an evocation of some deeper mood, something running below the surface of the action. But I can't help feeling that the whole exercise would've been more worthwhile had the director demonstrated less ambition and more good old-fashioned story-sense.

There are these two people, one a Chinese woman working for the underground, the other a Japanese fellow toiling for his country's secret-service. We know they're lovers because we see them in bed together, but for at least half the movie, we have no real idea who these people are, what their roles are in the drama that appears to be playing out before us. Now, I'm no dummy, and certainly don't require everything to be spelled-out for me in the dopey terms of most Hollywood movies, but I do appreciate it when the director makes at least a cursory effort at filling me in on the details of the story, like who people are and why I should care about them.

The movie doesn't let you get a food-hold, it's too busy being poetic and rainy and surpassingly glum. This might be all right if the images had some great plastic beauty, but the blue-toned pictures Ye Lou puts in front of us, dissolving from one to the next like he's putting on a museum slide-show of Chinese history, are not exactly the best eye-candy I've seen lately. As an exercise in image and cutting the film is not hall-of-fame material.

The stuff of good cinema is there in Purple Butterfly, but it's buried under too many layers of Cinema.


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