Original Title: Jiao zi (Hong Kong)
dir. Fruit Chan starring: Bai Ling, Miriam Chin Wah Yeung
How far will a woman go to be desired?
Mrs. Li is a childless, former actress, who is married to her former producer. Now she believes her husband has lost interest in her. To get him back, she hunts down Aunt Mei, a woman who holds the secret to eternal youth. As Meryl Streep in Death Becomes Her or the Evil Queen in Snow White discovered, beauty comes at a deadly price. What is in the dumplings? Unfortunately you’ll figure it out ten minutes in, then hope that the film plummets into the rabbit hole. The satire isn’t as sharply satiric as it promises to be. Mr. Li is gross and you wonder why Mrs.Li doesn’t just leave him. Bai Ling is suitably quirky and tacky as Aunt Mei, but her character is a bit fuzzy.
Aside from that, the scenes involving the preparation and consumption of the dumplings are sufficiently unsettling. You get close-ups of chopping, and hear unnatural squishy and crunching noises. Dig in for the least appetizing scenes involving food.
Recommend: Not so much. It has an interesting angle on beauty and cannibalism, but the movie doesn’t go to many interesting places with it.
Availability: on Netflix