A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos. The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.
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To save the only child of the Zhao Family, whose entire clan was massacred at the hands of a nefarious minister, a doctor sacrifices his own son; after the Zhao child grows up, the doctor becomes intent on seeking his vengeance.
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
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A con-team couple (Andy Lau & Rene Liu) head west after taking a city businessman for his BMW. But an encounter with a naive young carpenter travelling home with his life savings challenges their fate as thieves.
In 907 AD, the Tang Dynasty is in tatters; infighting snarls the imperial family. Crown Prince Wu Luan loves Little Wan, but his father takes her as his Empress. Wu Luan goes into exile, studying dance and music. His uncle murders his father, taking throne and Empress; uncle sends assassins to kill Wu Luan. The Crown Prince eludes death and comes to court. The Emperor arranges for Little Wan's coronation and dispatches Wu Luan to a distant land; he then calls for a midnight banquet on the 100th day of his rule. Poison, treachery, Wu Luan's return, and the love of the innocent Qing for Wu Luan set up the final entanglements. No Fortinbras or Horatio lay the dead to rest. Written by
An excellent story driven drama with some action sequences
I just got back from the UA theater in Kowloon Bay, supposedly watching this film on release day I thought, yet so many people on here act as if they had seen this movie already.
Anyways, I saw it how it is meant to be seen (in the theater) and here is my opinion.
You will like this movie if you like drama and are a fan of stories in the style of the Greek Tragedy. It is a slow paced film, clocking in at over 2 hours, but for those who like listening to purposeful dialogue and those interested in dynastic Chinese culture it is a very quick 2 hours.
If you are looking for a martial arts film, there is fighting in this film, but that is not what the film is about. To me the fighting is a necessity, and done beautifully (not realistically, if you care about realistic fighting go watch some UFC bouts or other films).
I think this film is as much appropriate for females as males if not more so (even though I am male) do to the involving love stories presented.
Overall, for what it is, I give it a 10 out of 10. Perhaps it isn't perfect, but I still enjoyed it and to me it was an excellent drama/tragedy story.
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