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Ou-yang Feng lives in the middle of a desert, where he acts as a middle man to various swordsmen in ancient China. One of those swordsmen is Huang Yao-shi, who has found some magic wine that causes one to forget the past. At another time, Huang met Mu-rong Yin and under the influence of drink, promised to marry Mu-rong's sister Mu-rong Yang. Huang jilts her, and Mu-rong Yin hires Ou-yang to kill Huang. But then Mu-rong Yang hires Ou-yang to protect Huang. This is awkward, because Mu-rong Yang and Mu-rong Yin are in reality the same person. Other unrelated plot lines careen about. Among them is Ou-yang's continuing efforts to destroy a band of horse thieves. Oy-yang recruits another swordsman, a man who is going blind and wants to get home to see his wife before his sight goes completely. The swordsman is killed. Ou-yang then meets another swordsman who doesn't like wearing shoes. Oy-yang sends this man after the horse thieves, with better results. We then find out what a man must give... Written by
Scott Hamilton <email@example.com>
I saw this at the New York Film Festival in which Bridgette Lin, who was in the first segment of the film, was there. She still looks beautiful. This film is not a remake, it is a redone version of the film, a 1992 drama set and shot in the Chinese desert in which Ouyang Feng (the late Leslie Cheung) plays a person for hire, mostly to kill others. Through the film, you see various people enter his life, and their stories are told in the passing of the seasons. This absolutely stellar casts includes Maggie Cheung, both Tony Leungs, Carina Lau and Jacky Cheung, along with Bridgette Lin and Leslie Cheung. The film chronicles tales of love, lust, betrayal, vengeance, pain and yearning admirably. There is also excellent swordplay in this film, but the real brilliance of this film is the cinematography by Christopher Doyle. The desert is punctuated with wind & sandstorms, and many images are purposely blurred. Really, if you are a film buff of any kind, this film is essential viewing for the cinematography alone. The film is more dramatic than violent and you are filled with a sense of foreboding throughout, wondering what will happen next. I never saw the film in its original incarnation, so I can't compare, but if you did see the film and liked it you have to see this. If you're a fan of director Wong Kar Wai, this is also essential viewing. Do yourself a favor and try to catch this film in a theater, where you can enjoy the overall majesty of it. Not a perfect ten only because at times it is a bit hard to follow, but stay with it and you'll be rewarded with a great cinematic experience.
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