January 27, 2006

Daggers drawn

We watched "House of Flying Daggers" yesterday and the imagery from the movie still flits through my mind. Visually, it was stunning. I don’t know what it is about Chinese movies but they seem to work a lot in primary and secondary colours :p You see breathtaking scenes of impossibly green trees or fields and autumn leaves of dazzling yellow and orange that make you just ache to watch them – they are that beautiful. Then you have the warriors in all shades of blue and the beautiful maidens in red and so on. I absolutely loved the scenes in the movie as far as the visuals went – the colours were so crisp, so bright that it was as if somebody had taken the world, washed all the grime away and hung it out to dry in all its newly cleaned glory :)

The story itself, what can I say about the story? I liked the story though there were certain stylized points that I found hard to believe. Such as the fact that they’d have like 20-30 drums (or more) waiting around just in the off-chance a captain of the guard will wander in and want to play an "echo game" :p I didn’t like the ending but then again, I never like sad endings. There was however, a moment towards the end that I thought was absolutely brilliant. (If you haven’t watched the movie and don’t want spoilers, don’t read the rest of this paragraph – simply read the next paragraph :p) You have the two male protagonists (or is it the protagonist and antagonist? :p) facing off against each other. One of them, Leo, has just stabbed the girl, Mei, whom both he and the other guy, Jin, love. Leo is of the opinion that if he can’t have Mei, nobody can have her. Now, he’s about to kill Jin and Mei rises up and tells him that she’ll pull out the dagger that Leo stabbed her with and will kill Leo if he harms Jin, because she loves Jin. Jin is screaming at her not to worry about his life because pulling out the dagger from her breast will mean that she will die. You get this perfect moment of tension where you can see the different emotions on the faces of the characters and I was thinking, OK, perhaps Leo will realize what love is all about now – it’s not about killing the one you love because you can’t have her but about being ready to die so that she could live. The way the movie ends, I am not sure if Leo every actually understood that or not …

The actors did a great job in the movie. I could see every emotion, every thought mirrored in their faces and gestures. Half the time, I wasn’t even reading the sub-titles, I was just too busy watching their body language :) And the title song, ah the title song. It was beautiful, it was haunting and so very sad. I couldn’t help humming it even though I didn’t know the words. Overall, a great movie – if you don’t mind foreign movies that is :)

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Tags: Entertainment, Movies
Posted by Fahim at 7:42 am   Comments (1)