A young man takes a job as a house servant for a rich, disabled old man with an attractive young wife and trouble ensues.
An adults-only entry to Hong Kong’s new-wave film movement, House of the Lute is elegant and engaging. The classy production is accompanied at all times by sounds of a lute – a dynamic instrument adding audio punctuation marks and exclamation points throughout the course of the story. A television set features prominently in the second half and adds interest. Aside from providing the advertising spiel for the famed Darkie toothpaste brand, the TV also brings additional issues to the screen. It appears no coincidence that a forced sex scene between Shek and a less-than-willing Mrs Lui plays against a news report of Hong Kong’s rising social ills, notably rape and murder. Later, a local farmer brushes aside books and smashes away antique pottery to better view the TV – akin to how Hong Kong has bulldozed heritage in its hurtling drive for urban modernity. House of the Lute lends itself well to retrospective viewing.
On the day that the young guy applies as a gardener/house servant, the young wife is already attracted to him based on the way she looks at him.
The servant helps the wife put her disabled husband in the bathtub. Her robe opens up a bit so she looks up to see if the servant is checking her slightly exposed tit out. Seemingly he does, so she shows her displeasure to him with her facial expression and closes her robe. Even if she showed interest in him earlier, she isn't exactly open for his taking, at least for now.
One morning, the wife comes out of her bedroom and stands on the balcony to get some fresh air. She notices that the servant is standing in front of his room, which is a floor higher than her spot and is looking at her. She opens up her robe and exposes her body to him and then comes back into her room.
The servant accompanies the wife to the market. She acts like she didn't flash him earlier. They eat in a restaurant and talk, and they get to know each other more. When they are on their way back, he makes his move and gropes her while they're walking on a field (not seen as they are obscured by some bushes). The wife slaps him and then tells him to pick up her hairpin that fell. When he gives the hairpin to her, she holds his hand and smiles at him, like she's telling him that she's just tripping when she slapped him earlier but in truth, she welcomes his grope and would also like to fuck him. So they do that, on a picnic cloth beside a lake.
The wife and the servant have sex in his quarters. After sex, she suggests that they go into town for a few days so that they can fuck freely. But of course, they will pretend to leave separately and tell her husband that he is going to visit his sick father while she is going to visit her parents.
The two go to town and paint the town red using her husband's money. They shop, dine, and have sex at the hotel. The wife spends big on her new boy toy and even buys rings for the both of them, telling him that the rings signify that they are now husband and wife. She tells him that they will be together soon because her husband will not be long for the world. Then, they come back home, but separately, of course.
The wife comes to the servant's room one night when he wouldn't respond to her call (she needs his help to bathe her husband). As soon as she enters, he grabs her and forcibly fucks her from behind against a wall. Her husband sits in the bathtub and waits for her, oblivious that she is currently being fucked by the young servant.
The old lady servant peeks inside the young servant's quarter through the keyhole while he is fucking the wife. Although her view is restricted, she seems to be aware of what's going on between the two but is not really shocked at it. She tells the wife that she's just going to make the young servant's bed when she comes out of the room and catches her nosing around. The wife tells her to just leave and go to bed, like she's aware that the old lady knows about her affair but it isn't really her business anymore.
The husband's talking parrot tells him that his wife has been unfaithful with the servant and even calls him a cuckold. He confronts the two and tells the servant to leave. However, his wife threatens to leave as well if that happens, so he lets the servant stay. This time, he really becomes a cuckold and the servant now gets to eat at the table with him and his wife as if he got promoted.
Pretty soon, the servant gets possessive and insecure. While they are in a grassy field, with the wife fully naked, he aggressively asks her why she married the old man in the first place. He then takes a stem and uses it on her skin to brand her as his. After that, he murders her husband.
A hot Asian classic.