Sun, Moon, and Star II
Hong Kong 1961
Directed by Evan Yang.


The tearjerking, melodramatic conclusion to the epic saga of three strong women and one idiot man-child that can't choose between them, until it's far too late. Jianbai (Chang Yang) joins the army to be with his beloved Yanan (Julie Yeh), and though she saves him on the battlefield, she isn't interested in a relationship. In the meantime, A-lan (Lucilla You) arrives at the front as a nurse, and ends up caring for Jianbai, and his cousin Qiuming (Grace Chang) becomes an entertainer for the troops and performs for him. The three women find each other, and care for each other, but Jianbai remains lost in a fantasy world of his own creation instead of facing the girls and making a decision.

The second part of SUN, MOON, AND STAR begins quite slowly. Military battle scenes are long and drawn out and not very well filmed, even when they are well choreographed. It seems epic action is not director Evan Yang's strong suit. The movie improves once it moves into close quarters with its actresses, and by the end, the drama reaches a fever pitch. A weeping woman searches a mass grave, loved ones die and lose limbs.

Eventually everyone is either emotionally or physically crippled. Jianbai was young, but his inability to grow up and act maturely ends up harming those he cares for the most. Luckily there was nothing handy nearby to throw, otherwise I might have damaged the TV. Grace Chang once again stands out from the rest of the actors with a fantastically moving performance, even though her superwoman-with-a-heart-of-gold persona is unlikely and barely believable, we'd like to believe in her, and so we do.

For more information about this production, read about the first part, Sun, Moon, and Star I.

Rating: Recommended (Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on February 24, 2005.


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