Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Films: Hero

I remember a friend who once told me that "if it's a Chinese movie, expect the main characters dying in the end;" he was right! Talk about tragedy!

I have been incarcerated to our house for the past few days because of this blasted flu and so I have been amusing (?) myself with watching movies, Chinese movies. An ode to my heritage, if you will. Even with my weak Chinoy background, I can still appreciate good Chinese movies when they come my way; especially if it's available in English audio! Ah, the invention of the DVD...

Anyway, I was amusing myself with two Chinese films, coincidentally directed by Zhang Yimou and also starring Zhang Ziyi! I'm not a huge fan of them particularly but I am so loving Yimou's stuff! Talk about romance and action PLUS drama in one go! You haven't seen that in American films, right? I guess the Chinese have their wuxia films and Japan their horror films.

Hero (Chinese: 英雄; pinyin: Yīngxióng) is a 2002 Chinese martial arts film, directed by Zhang Yimou with music by Tan Dun. Starring Jet Li as the nameless protagonist, the movie is loosely based on the legendary Jing Ke.

A group of assassins: Flying Snow (飛雪) (Maggie Cheung), Broken Sword (殘劍) (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai), and Long Sky (長空) (Donnie Yen), have sworn to kill the King of Qin (秦王) (Chen Daoming), and Nameless (無名) (Jet Li) comes to the royal capital to claim the reward offered for their defeat. The movie tells the story of his conversation with the King of Qin, and through a series of flashbacks depicts the journey he took to earn the honor of sitting before the emperor. Zhang Ziyi stars as Broken Sword's servant Moon (如月).

My View
I loved it! I was quite surprised about how the story went because I didn't actually know what it was about at first. I had heard great reviews about it before but I didn't see it on the big screen. As it was a typical Chinese film, all the main characters die in the end which I thought was fitting for what they went through.

The film actually narrates different versions of fights and confrontations between a nameless man (Jet Li) and the three assassins, told to the Emperor Qin. In all the scenarios, only one was the truth. This was all a ploy to finally assassinate the Emperor so he could not unite China as one whole nation.

I can remember the colors of the film, visually depicting the mood of the fight. The best scene would have to be the fight between Nameless and Broken Sword in the lake. The reflections where awesome and the view was breathtaking plus the fight was astonishing! I know many people think that it is impossible but I think that it was actually made to portray a deeper understanding of the arts.

The film's climax was when Nameless understood what the Emperor meant by uniting China. With the Emperor saying that it took an outlaw to make him understand what was meant by Our Land. It ends with the deaths of Nameless who was buried as a Hero; Broken Sword who was killed by his lover Flying Snow because they argued about the assassination of the Emperor with Broken Sword refusing to kill Qin.

I give the movie five stars.

Image: Google
Info: Wikipedia