10 January 2016 | paul_haakonsen
A confusing mess...
Director Miu-Suet Lai tried to put together a pseudo-supernatural love-story thriller, but the elements she tiled together just didn't fit together as snuggly as jigsaw puzzles, and the end result was a somewhat confusing mess of a movie that set out to accomplish more than it could muster.
The story is about actress Bao (played by Shu Qi) rehearsing to star in a theatrical production with her boyfriend Nan (played by Shawn Yue). But as she becomes ill and unable to get on stage, Huixiang her identical twin sister (also played by Shu Qi) replace her on the stage. With her success and time with Nan, Bao Begins to suspect them for cheating on her.
The core of the story was good enough, but it was all drowned in the drama between the twin sisters and Nan, to the point where it just got to be too much. And the audience is left in the dark for most of the movie, only to have the carpet pulled away from under them by an abrupt and really silly ending to the movie after the revealing of what was going on.
Shu Qi carried the movie with grace in both roles, just a shame that the script and the director didn't offer her more to work with. As for Shawn Yue, well he sort of had a glazed over distant stare, as if he was miles away throughout the entire movie, and that was dragging the movie down.
I watched "The Second Woman" (aka "Qing mi") out of my love for Hong Kong cinema and admiration of Shu Qi, but this 2012 movie wasn't the brightest of moments in Hong Kong cinema nor in Shu Qi's career.