Curse of the Golden Flower

Man Cheng Jin Dai Huang Jin Jia

Yes! Finally another magical Chinese fairytale* by one of my favourite directors. The genius behind my all-time favourites House of Flying Daggers and Hero, Yimou Zhang. Absolutely fabulous. For your own sake I suggest you tune in your expectations for this film differently than for the other similar films, this has very little action, and is mainly a drama. Also it is a whole lot more slow-paced and heavy than many of the famous Asian films, like Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Curse of the Golden Flower is without an ounce of comedy a very problematic movie, but with so much splendour, and with a cast of hundreds of people - a pure 111 minutes of visual pleasure.

Obviously it overwhelmed me with all the intense impressions, the dense colours, the emotion and the beautiful scenery. Completely as expected there were immense complications and a tangled web of a story, intricately untangling itself across a most spectacular cast and some very detailed costumes.

I'm not going to go in to the story, because much like the end scene in Bin Jip (by Ki-duk Kim) it makes me cry just to think about it. Seriously.

By all means it was almost impossible to understand, most likely because there is so much beauty all at once that you have to be superwoman to get it all in at once. But with a bit of afterthought and a bit of reasoning it is not half as confusing as Hero, so I see this as an improvement plot wise. Clearly, Yimou Zhang has an issue with creating tragedies, and he really needs to make things a bit more upbeat, in my personal opinion. Though still this is not reason enough to dislike it, I suppose even though he over-fills his 'forbidden-love quota', and completely blows the 'sad-music-scale' off its hinges - it's still enjoyable, it is still so professionally done that I can see it again. And that's well-tuned for you, a very fine balance there.
I obviously have to see it again. And so do you!

* You must not (under any circumstances) see this film if you think everything has to have a logical explanation to it, like "How is it possible to run up a wall like that?", "Where did the doctor's wife learn to fight?", "Where did that giant army come from?", or "How can he move so fast in an armour made of gold?" and of course you must not see this film together with anyone like that. Once you begin questioning imagination like that you should slap yourself, it is healthy with a bit of madness, a bit of detachment from your square format.


Audun said...

I would say the movie has a tad too much intriguing. It gets a bit exhausting keeping track, in a way.

But yesh, a very good movie.

And for once, a chinese movie where nobody wants to kill the emperor!

Oh, wait... :)

Mab said...

Walking up walls? Sure.

Flying round the room? Cool.

Everybody knows kung-fu fighting (those kicks were fast as lightning)? Fine by me.

But THAT kind of boobage on a Chinese chick? Not very likely!

Audun said...

Thinking exactly the same thing!
Nice to know that our favourite China expert, Dr Mab Giles, agrees.

I would have suggested they used stand-ins in the boob scenes, except all the scenes were boob scenes.

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