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Nicolas Winding Refn
In ancient China, before the reign of the first emperor, warring factions throughout the Six Kingdoms plot to assassinate the most powerful ruler, Qin. When a minor official defeats Qin's three principal enemies, he is summoned to the palace to tell Qin the story of his surprising victory. Written by
Obvious stunt double for The King in fighting scenes. See more »
I was orphaned at a young age and was never given a name. People simply called me Nameless. With no family name to live up to, I devoted myself to the sword. I spent ten years perfecting unique skills as a swordsman. The King of Qin has summoned me to court, for what I have accomplished has astonished the kingdom.
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While i enjoyed this movie very much, i believe Hero will get the kinds of reviews and responses that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (CTHD) did, and still does, ie. either you liked it very much, or you couldn't see what the fuss was all about. This dichotomy of opinions makes for interesting study because it seems to cut across cultural and intellectual differences. Everywhere the film is shown, there will a segment of the audience that will love and rave about it, and another segment that will be wondering if they had been watching the same movie. I can't explain why this is so, but i suspect it has a lot to do with a viewer's initial expectation of the movie, and then his perception and appreciation of the nuances in the telling of the storyline.
Hero is a film that is beautiful in many aspects. The direction and photography is artsy without being pretentious. Every shot is worthy of being a work of art in itself. The language spoken is traditional mandarin, but oh, so easy to the ear, even though i couldn't understand every word. (I don't think Tony's and Maggie's voices were dubbed, but i could be mistaken). The main characters were very well acted out, especially that of the role of the Qin Emperor. Zhang Ziyi's character was largely insignificant though, so i think she's been put in to add some star power to the production. The fighting scenes are unusual by most standards, employing an interesting combination of CGI and real action. Some of the powers that the characters possess appear too amazing to be true, but remember that some of the fights only took place in the fighters' imagination. The music, though quite similar to that in CTHD, is appropriate, and sticks hauntingly to the back of your mind long after the movie is over.
I went to the cinema having heard some of the hype leading to the movie, but with no real knowledge of the storyline, and not expecting a lot. I think that helped me enjoy the movie more, because the way the story unfolded actually set me thinking and anticipating in a manner that i could not have had i known more about the storyline. The message at the end of the movie is simple, but certainly open for debate. In fairness, i don't think the director attempted to provide an answer, as to whether the decision made by the Nameless One was the correct one or not, but rather to ask questions. I'd better not give out too much here, but it certainly set me thinking about things for a little while after the show had ended. These days, any movie that can get me pondering after the credits go down has got to be pretty good.
Overall an excellent movie. I'm sure some areas could be better, but i can't think of any right now. Highly recommended.
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