Against a moonlit night, thousands of chrysanthemum blossoms are trampled as blood spills across the Imperial Palace. Meanwhile, the Emperor is beginning to think that the Imperial Doctor and his daughter Know Too Much, and he personally knows a good deal more than he's let on. He has three sons: one is a teenager, who isn't given much regard but knows more than others think. There are also an extra-ordinary amount of close-ups in this film as if he was making a drama for television. It proved that the real good novel can live all the time. Despite its flaws, Curse of the Golden Flower is a diverting enough film, just somewhat flat compared to Zhang's previous epics--a little too willing, perhaps, to let story and action cede the field to costume and set design. Where do Prince Jai's loyalties lie? This computer manipulation of great armies may make the directors life easy but it strips away any sense of human nature.
On the eve of the Chong Yang Festival, golden flowers fill the Imperial Palace. The Emperor is at first shown as a kind father who wants to maintain a harmonious balance of family and state. For many years, the Empress and Crown Prince Wan Liu Ye , her stepson, have had an illicit liaison and unspeakable secrets are hidden within the Forbidden City. Also, I was reminded about the Borgias and some of the other Italian, French and Greek royal dramas when emotions get totally out of hand. The old themes of absolute power corrupting and jealousies will out, are handled in a sensitive and masterful manner.
Meanwhile, Second Brother, who is the embodiment of martial virtue and filial piety, has just come home after a three year hitch fighting the barbarians on the frontier. Not only was his performance bad, but his appearance was ridiculous. And no one pays any attention to the youngest prince, Yu. Strangely enough, the fundamental theme behind the film, that what is golden on the outside is rotten within, seems to also describe not only this waste of celluloid, but other lame attempts by Feng Xiaogang The Banquet and Chen Kaige The Promise to duplicate the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon which I don't even think is a very good film. Just as in Hero, this tyrant is nearly overthrown by a brave young warrior motivated by only the best of intentions love of his homeland in the earlier film, love of his mother in the latter.
At the end, the empress completely loses it once she sees all her hopes and her last, favorite child die before her eyes. He honors his father, loves his mother, thinks he's a better man than his half brother, and wouldn't mind being Emperor one day. I doubt I'll be watching this often, not when I can watch Flying Daggers, Fearless, Hero and Ip Man instead. During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. How does the movie's grand display -- bright colors, sweeping costumes, dramatic entrances -- suggest opera? Also his blood is in her medicine, and she's expected to drink it anyway.
Curse of the Golden Flower reunites Zhang Yimou and Gong Li for the first time in eleven years. Yu kills Wan out of jealousy, the Emperor then beats the Yu to death, Jai attempts a coup, but fails spectacularly and commits suicide, and the Empress goes insane. If you've seen the director's other movies, how does this one compare? Ignore the action in this movie and you will not be disappointed. If he will remain steadfastly loyal to his all-powerful father and emperor, or if he will honor the wishes of his beloved and powerless mother. Those movies too were sometimes stagy and fully of internal dramatic inconsistencies that didn't stand up to too much analysis. It's hard to describe what this film does, without spoiling the movie.
His pretext is to celebrate the holiday with his family, but given the chilled relations between the Emperor and the ailing Empress Gong Li , this seems disingenuous. The middle son is a great warrior and, of course, is now the favorite of the father. They seem out of place in what is essentially a family melodrama. It's spectacular and outlandish-funny at the same time, prompting simultaneous leering and laughing. The story was too turgid and melodramatic and it was a relief when all the action set pieces arrived.
The beautiful Empress Phoenix is depressed by her isolation and her husband's obvious disdain for her. I had my strong doubts up to this, but I think in years to come critics will see this as one of a series of truly masterful movies from Zhang Yimou that will collectively consist of a coherent and brilliant artistic and political statement, not to mention pure kick ass cinematic pleasure. Breasts instead of the swirling of engagement. Reluctantly called back into action by the government, Jack is tasked with turning a ragtag group of kids with special powers into a new generation of superheroes to save the world from certain destruction. He tolerates the Empress because she is a princess and very decorative and the mother of his 2 younger sons, and he even tolerated silently her affair for a while, but he will not tolerate her efforts to usurp him publicly. It's simply a story about a dysfunctional imperial family, nothing more. But since I've seem so many martial arts movies, they did not bring any surprises to me Overall, it's an entertaining movie with an understandable story and believable characters.
Who is behind this brutal rebellion? Excellent directing, acting and magnificently choreographed. He offers to spare Jai on one condition: That he personally serve his mother her poisonous medicine until her death. Curse of the golden flower makes Jeremy Kyle's show turn into a kindergarten play in terms of intensity of a dysfunctional family!!! That film was the highest-grossing in China of all-time; its echo, Curse of the Golden Flower, had a larger budget than any in the nation's history, enabling Zhang to employ thousands of extras and construct a gargantuan outdoor set of the palace grounds. During the latter days of the Tang Dynasty in 10th-century China, the Emperor Chow Yun-Fat returns home from war unexpectedly along with his son Prince Jai Jay Chou. It basically all went how I imagined it would. Betrayal, back-stabbing, assassination, adultery, family tragedy,.
The Home Movies List: A Fistful of Zhang Ju Dou 1990. If you're looking for anything deeper, then it's not for you although the movie is loosely based on a masterpiece of play in China. Parents need to know that kids who liked Hero or House of Flying Daggers will want to see this movie. Also remarkable, of course, is Zhang's taste for unimaginative, clockwork crowd choreography: thousands of real and virtual extras flow by in rigid geometric patterns with a maniac precision that can only be described as military-inspired. Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.