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Posted July 25, 2012
Delivers the emotion not reached in Yimou's last two films
HERO was spectacular and House of Flying Daggers was pretty cool, but this movie bests them with ease. Here we have a more Shakespearean level of tragedy, intrigue, plotting, deceit and sordid histories uncovered, all within one entrancing location - the palace of the royal family during one of China's dynasties. Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li were riveting as the Emperor and Empress, and all three of their sons were also perfectly cast. Liu Ye is particularly impressive - see him in Purple Butterfly, too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Absolute Favorite of the Genre
I am going to say right now, flat out, that I love this movie more than Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers, and even Hero - combined. While the movie is lacking in the amount of martial arts action typical of other movies in the genre, it makes up for it (at least for me) in mental stimulation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Despite its tragic ending, this movie wraps up perfectly, beautifully, and absolutely ironically. In retrospect, I am often surprised by how much I am pleased by the way this movie ends. It is like taking thousands of strings to weave an epic tapestry, only for the design to come out backwards. While films like Crouching Tiger had me sobbing and hoping never to lay eyes on it again (no matter how visually stimulating, or poetic the story), this movie instead had me laughing even into the next day.
The story itself is complicated enough that trying to communicate it to others becomes a trial. However, watching the webs of the relationships between all the characters play out is extremely pleasing.
Naturally, the visual elements of the film play a large role, to the point that you may experience slight discomfort from too many bright colors assaulting your eyes all at once. The fact that this movie got clearance to film in the forbidden city, may well be enough reason to check it out.
Now, if what you are looking for is an action packed martial arts movie, this is not the film for you. That is not to say there is no martial arts, it is just not the central feature of this film. If, however, you can appreciate a beautifully ironic tale with a (albeit morbidly) hilarious ending, well, you're in the right place.