Suzhou River
Rating: * * * *Japanese title: Futari no Ningyo Director: Lou Ye Running time: 115 minutes Language:Cantonese, with Japanese subtitlesNow showing

"If I leave you someday, would you look for me forever? Your whole life?"

When the unnamed narrator of "Suzhou River" is asked this by his lover, Mei-mei; he mumbles yes, but it's hardly convincing. "You're lying," snaps Mei-mei. But put yourself in the poor guy's shoes: Could you answer this one sincerely? Would a more heartfelt "yes" betray passion or obsession? "Suzhou River" -- a highly atmospheric neo-noir by Chinese director Lou Ye, set in modern-day Shanghai -- offers us both possibilities.

The narrator's great fear: "Sometimes she'd get sad and I wouldn't know why. She'd disappear and then turn up again as if nothing had happened. Every time she closed the door behind her my heart stopped." A video cameraman, he films her every moment, as if somehow knowing that in the end it's all he'll be left with. Or maybe he's distancing himself so that it will hurt less when she goes.