Thursday, April 12, 2007

Movie Review: Curse of the Golden Flower

Movie Title: Curse of the Golden Flower
Starring: Chow-Yun Fat, Gong Li
Directed by: Zhang Zimou
Country of Origin: China/Hong Kong
My Rating: 7/10

Curse of the Golden Flower is set in 928 A.D. China, during the regime of the Tang Dynasty. Emperor Ping (played brilliantly by Chow-Yun Fat) and Empress Phoenix (played by the beautiful Gong Li) are entwined in a power struggle, and to make matters worse, the sons are involved too. The plot-line is the only thing that didn't make complete sense to me here. The Emperor keeps poisoning his consort wife so that she's on her way to a slow death, preluded by a mental breakdown. The crown-prince does not want to be a crown prince any more, the valiant second son is loyal to his mother, and the youngest son has the typical and dangerous last-born syndrome.

However, this movie is worth a watch for it's art and glamor alone. A lot of resources have been put into making everything in this movie beautiful. Golden armor, exotic clothes for the women, and colors all over the palace that prove to be a sight for sore eyes. Moreover, Chow-Yun Fat excelled in his portrayal of the highly intelligent, yet compassionately numb Emperor. It is indeed a good change from seeing him all those goody-goody roles he's played all these years. He also plays his role, for a change. Not often in movies do 50+ actors play 50+ roles these days. Gong-Li was well dolled up, played her 40+ age and her acting wasn't bad. I just didn't become an instant fan of hers after watching the dismal Miami Vice last year.

Please note: This is not a kung-fu movie.

However, it is not a chick-flick either. I just see women enjoying this movie for it's slow and steady pace more than men. It is a beautifully done movie, too bad the plot didn't move me too much.

7/10 - Not a bad rental. Especially not a bad Netflix rental :)

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