Thursday, August 26, 2010
Review Thursday: Curse Of The Golden Flower
Actors: Yun-Fat Chow, Li Gong, Jay Chou, Ye Liu, Dahong Ni
Directors: Yimou Zhang
Writers: Yimou Zhang, Yu Cao
OK I meant to keep this review Thursday to books, mainly Asian books, but I have to make an exception for this film. The Curse of the Golden Flower is simply one of the best Chinese films I've seen - ever.
Without giving away the plot, the story is set in Tang dynasty China (928 A.D) when people got what they wanted by fighting huge sword battles when poisoning their enemies didn't work.
The story starts when Emperor Ping comes home from the wars. His current wife, Empress Phoenix and their son Prince Jie are horrified because they are plotting to overthrow him. The emperor is a cunning, evil type, and knowing what's up, he is slowly poisoning his wife with Black Fungus tea.
The rest of the tale involves incest, assassination, double-dealing, murder, tricky spy stuff, and of course some pretty darn good kung fu fighting. Plus, it's got a really nasty twist at the end.
The Emperor is played by Chow Yun Fat, the guy famous for fighting with two guns in films like Replacement Killers, and dozens of other films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Pirates of the Caribbean 3. The Empress, Li Gong, is the sexy bit who was superb also in Farewell My Concubine and The Emperor and the Assassin.
If you choose to see just 1 Chinese film in your life, watch this one. It's got subtitles, but believe me, when you're 20 minutes into the film, you won't even notice you're reading them. If you're not in Asia, check it out at Amazon.