As we wait for Ang Lee’s new, ‘The Life of Pi’, to be released next month, here’s a look at his second feature, ‘The Wedding Banquet’ (1993), which tells the story of a gay couple and clash of cultures, much before he made the celebrated and popular ‘Brokeback Mountain’ (2005).
Wai-Tung Gao and Simon are a couple, something the Chinese man cannot tell his parents in Taiwan, who have been pressurising him to get married to a woman. Then he meets a Chinese girl, Wei-Wei, who is ready to marry anyone for a green card. So, Wai-Tung and Wei-Wei decide to get married to make his parents happy. Only that, Wai-Tung did not expect his parents to land in America to celebrate the wedding and then throw him a big wedding banquet, where predictably, everything goes wrong.
The film begins as a comedy and soon turns into a family drama with a heart. The one thing I admire about the film is how it resolutely keeps the relationship between the two men intact, despite the obvious threats.
The film stars Winston Chao, May Chin, Ah Lei Gua, Sihung Lung, and Mitchell Lichtenstein. The Wedding Banquet is the first of three movies that Ang Lee would make about gay characters; the second is ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and the third being ‘Taking Woodstock’. The film is a co-production between Taiwan and the United States. More here.