Celebrating Great Films

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Hero#143 at time of writing.

This is a phenomenally beautiful film. Yimou Zhang's use of colour and scale paints a masterpiece visualisation of Oriental legend. It is an ambitious epic, with all the melodrama, over-the-top chivalry and infinitely meticulous action scenes that you could hope for from the wuxia genre.

It is the most expensive Chinese film ever made, using an impressive 18000 extras and 300 horses, but it is never gratuitous. It uses special effects in innovative and restrained ways, creating strong visual interest from such mundane things as a falling raindrop or a slight breeze.

The fight scenes and set pieces are grand and poetic, more than making up for the occasional borderline cheesiness. And the story wraps up with a tantalisingly ambiguous moral message.

Watch this film on the largest possible screen, and prepare to be awed.

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