Female Representation In Temptress Moon And Flower Of Shanghai
Andrew Golitzinsky
July 13, 2022

If one were to look at the women characters in Temptress Moon and the Flowers of Shanghai one would find that the way women are represented in these two films a completely different. In the movie Temptress Moon the women of the film are manipulated and abused though out the entire movie. The gang that the film follows targets lonely, vulnerable women and takes advantage of them by sending someone to seduce them and then blackmail them. In Temptress Moon they are nothing more than a means to an end. The reasons for this is because of the women of this film begin the film innocent. They let the more virtuous emotion such as love and trust; govern their actions while the men of the film have slightly less virtuous emotion governing their action such as greed and lust. A perfect example of this is the repeating action of the main character seducing women and then taking all their money. The women he seduces fall in love with him, a pure emotion, while the main character only sees the women as a resource to be exploited. Should any of the women of this film step out of line and try to take control away from the men of the film, they are either killed, in the example of the mark that the main character falls in love with or they are driven insane in the case of Gong Li's character. They are truly the victims in this film. The women of Flowers of Shanghai on the other hand act and deal with their situation in a totally different way. While they are subservient and relay on the men for their lives they take control of it as much as possible. In this film they begin are cunning and evil creature from the start and take it is in this evil that they can combat the men and take control of their lives. This is clearly seen in one of the opening statements of the film when all the men are talking drinking and talking about their friend Yufu and a girl he is seeing named Crystal. One of the men at the table exclaims that "he is caught in her net" which I believe is a perfect metaphor to explain the attitude of the women of the film. The women of Flowers of Shanghai are there to "catch" men and do whatever they want with them. The men of the film have almost no control over anything that happens, they are there to be used and abused. A perfect example of this would be poor master Wong, cheated on by both Crimson and Jasmine and then forced to pay for most of Crimson's expenses and depts. He is manipulated and abused throughout the entire length of the film. The role of the women in Flowers of Shanghai is totally reversed from the role of women in Temptress Moon. Instead of being the victims they are now the predators. They have total control over their lives and fate and unlike the women in Temptress Moon, this power that they have cannot be taken away.