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China 3000 years ago. It's the time of the Qin dynasty. The emperor seeks immortality by busily letting his alchemists search for a formula and building the famous terracotta army from the bodies of outlaws and the condemned. This is the time Mong Tiang Fong and court lady Twon fall deeply in love. Such a thing is not tolerated at the court and when their relationship is discovered both are sentenced to death. In the meantime the alchemists have discovered the formula of immortality, but decide to destroy their work. However Twon gets possession of one immortality pill which she manages to give to Tiang Fong before he's made a terracotta warrior too. China 1930. While on location a film crew discovers parts of the grave of emperor Qin guarded by the terracotta warriors. Tiang Fong, being immortal, awakes... Written by
If you've only seen Gong Li's big epics, this movie will come as quite a startling surprise... but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone needs a change of pace from time to time and this film definitely falls into that group.
This is definitely not the Gong Li that most westerners know but there is something about Gong Li's dual turn as a naive, ancient court lady and her haughty 1930s two-bit actress reincarnation that will definitely prompt a double-take. It's almost like two different movies rolled into one: the first an ancient love drama, the second twentieth century silliness with some intriguing costume choices. There are tears and laughter, almost like Gong Li was trying to poke fun at herself.
Watched with the right type of expectations, this fantasy filled movie is reasonably enjoyable purely escapist fare.
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