I saw the movie on its North American premiere (July 14, 2004) at the Fantasia Festival. I was slightly disappointed as I had been expecting a more epic, ensemble cast movie along the lines of Musa the Warrior. Instead, the movie concentrated only a much smaller number of characters. Still, the movie was solid, thoughtful and visually intriguing. There were slightly jarring tone shifts from the dominant thoughtful and realistic tone of confused loyalties, intrigue and blood, versus the lighter, more flamboyant, martial arts sequences. It almost seemed as though the filmmakers couldn't make up their minds about whether the movie was supposed to be a martial arts "flick" or a historical epic. The story touches nicely on the issue about the need for loyalty versus the need to adapt to new situations. Is it really worth your life and those of your friends to be loyal to one's master or does there come a time when one must submit to the winds of change? Is there perhaps greater courage in leaving the old ways for new ones? How does one decide? These questions are raised in this movie, and ironically, there is the suggestion that the answer given, may in fact be the wrong one!
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