Home > 1980 - 1989 > Rouge
Year - 1987
Studio - Golden Harvest Company
Stars - Leslie Cheung, Anita Mui, Alex Man, Emily Chu
Director - Stanley Kwan
Writing Credits - Kang-Chien Chiu, Pik-Wah Lee
Music - Siu-Tin Lai
Fleur (Anita Mui) is a courtesan in a high class bordello in 1934 Hong Kong. When a wealthy playboy and store-owner's son, Twelfth Master Chan, visits, she sings Cantonese opera and teases him. The two are soon deeply in love, but Chan's parents disapprove of their relationship. Chan attempts to strike out on his own by attempting a career in acting, taking on small roles. Fleur and Chan spend time together, smoking opium, and ultimately vowing to form a mutual suicide pact so that they may be together in in death.
The story shifts to modern day Hong Kong. At a newspaper office, an ethereal Fleur appears, looking and dressed exactly as she did fifty years ago. She tells Yuen-Ting (Alex Man) that she wants to place an ad in the newspaper in hopes of finding a missing person. She confesses that she has no money for the advertisement, and when Yuen-Ting closes the office to go to his home, she follows him. He is, at first, annoyed with her behavior but ultimately discovers that she is a ghost and is desperately trying to locate Chan, who had never arrived in the afterlife to be with her.
Yuen-Ting's girlfriend, Ah Chor (Emily Chu) joins them and tries to help solve the mystery of Chan's whereabouts. They visit all the places that Fleur frequented in the 1930s, but everything has changed as to be unrecognizable to her.
In an old shop, they find a 1934 newspaper that reports on Fleur's suicide death, but states that Chan survived the attempt. Now their goal becomes locating the possibly still living Chan. They ultimately learn that he continued his acting career, but never rose above extremely minor roles. When Fleur goes to him, the old man is a pathetic creature, astonished to see Fleur, unchanged from the last time they were together. Sadly, she leaves to return to her place in the afterlife.
Yuen-Ting and Ah Chor, having witnessed the passion of Fleur's quest, resolve to intensify their own romantic relationship together.