Sunday, January 21, 2007

Curse of the Golden Flower / Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia

Dir: Zhang Yimou (House of the Flying Daggers / Shi mian mau fu, Hero / Ying xiong)
Cast: Chow-Yun Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, Qin Junjie, Liu Ye, Li Man
Hong Kong/China, 2006
Seen in Mandarin with English Subtitles

Seen: Jan 11, 2007 at the Cumberland

Reason to see: I've enjoyed the Zhang Yimou's previous work as well as Chow-Yun Fat's. Add to that it's a historical epic. This is week 3/52 of my third attempt for#7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year.

I didn't know too much about this film I had pretty much only heard that it was 'beautiful' and oh it is... it is. The colour and design elements are so phenomenal. I swear I could get high off the colour in this film for its saturation level and beauty. I wanted to BE there. I wanted to TOUCH the walls, carpets, costumes. Absolutely amazing, I was giddy.

But, it isn't all about the colour right? Well.... not with this film, besides from that it was still really good. A very interesting story and strong characters. The performances were wonderful, in particular Gong Li, Qin Junjie and of course Chow-Yun Fat. The story unfolded beautifully, neither too quickly nor drawn out too long. I felt really pulled into the world that it created, it was so rich and so full the details were just amazing be it visual or sound or plot.

There is some violence though, and moment/idea in particular that I wished I hadn't seen. Other than that one it's akin to the martial arts/action genre. Well worth while seeing this in the theatre if you can.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend it - there is a fair bit of violence & some cruelty so I would forewarn for those sensitive

3 previews/10 min: Venus, Sharkwater, Factory Girl

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Sacred Suzie said...

I wondered if this was going to be an all-visual movie like a lot of the Asian movies I have seen recently with a not-so-strong story but when I saw Chow-Yun Fat I thought...oh! Wait, this is probably going to be good. Now that I know that, we will probably be seeing this one. With your endorsement, we will definitely be seeing it!

Jamie said...

It sounds beautiful. And thank you for the warning. I can be one of those sensitive sorts, as you know. But the colour sounds inviting!