Winston Chao (The Wedding Banquet), a married political candidate in Taipei, has a secret relationship with a substitute teacher (Kuei-mei Yang), who's trying to help a troubled student. The teacher's best friend is involved with a musician who develops a romantic interest in the teacher after reading her palm. Heavy on scenes with two characters talking about things that happened in the past—a transparent technique for conveying background information—this 1995 narrative injects pseudomystical symbolism into a vague and generic political-conspiracy story. But it doesn't seem allegorical, just pointless. Based on short stories by Wen-tsai Dai, who wrote the screenplay with director Chi Yin.