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Ye yan
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The Banquet (2006) More at IMDbPro »Ye yan (original title)

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Release Date:
14 September 2006 (Hong Kong) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
8 wins & 13 nominations See more »
(16 articles)
Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Grandmaster
 (From Disc Dish. 22 January 2014, 2:22 PM, PST)

Chinese director calls Weinstein 'a cheater'
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 13 June 2010, 11:00 AM, PDT)

Prince of the Himalayas
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 19 November 2007)

User Reviews:
A Nutshell Review: The Banquet See more (56 total) »


  (in credits order)

Ziyi Zhang ... Empress Wan

You Ge ... Emperor Li

Daniel Wu ... Prince Wu Luan

Xun Zhou ... Qing Nu
Jingwu Ma ... Minister Yin Taichang

Xiaoming Huang ... General Yin Sun
Zhonghe Zhou ... Chamberlain
Qiusheng Zeng ... Governor Pei Hong
Xu Xiyan ... Ling
Liu Yanbin ... Messenger
Ma Lun ... Pharmacist
Xiang Bin ... Imperial Guard
Chunyu Zheng ... Imperial Guard
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bing Bo ... Executioner
Kai Cui ... Dancer
Jingyi Du ... Dancer
Ho Fei ... Dancer
Tieyong Liu ... Gouvernment Secretary
Siwei Ou ... Dancer
Aaron C. Shang ... Jiang Lei (as Aaron Shang)
Atsushi Takita ... Dancer
Yusuke Tuyomi ... Dancer
Yubo Wang ... Red Laced Dancer
Jianhai Wei ... White Laced Dancer
Liang Zhan ... Dancer
Nan Zhang ... Jocker

Directed by
Xiaogang Feng 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gangjian Qiu 
William Shakespeare  play "Hamlet"
Heyu Sheng 

Produced by
John Chong .... producer
Lorraine Ho .... executive producer
Xiaofeng Hu .... line producer
Shirley Lau .... line producer
Gangjian Qiu .... executive producer
Zhongjun Wang .... producer
Zhonglei Wang .... executive producer
Woo-Ping Yuen .... executive producer
Original Music by
Dun Tan 
Cinematography by
Li Zhang 
Film Editing by
Miaomiao Liu 
Art Direction by
Tim Yip  (as Timmy Yip)
Makeup Department
Siu-Mui Chau .... hair stylist (as Chau Siu Mui)
Lipin Cheng .... assistant hair stylist
Hao Congying .... assistant makeup artist
Ai Ge .... assistant makeup artist
Wang Jun .... assistant makeup artist
Lee-Na Kwan .... makeup artist (as Kwan Lee Na)
Wang Li .... assistant makeup artist
Huarong Mei .... makeup artist
Liu Qiuju .... assistant hair stylist
Yuling Wang .... makeup artist
An Yang .... assistant hair stylist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Feng Feng .... second assistant director
Xiaoli Gong .... third assistant director
Di Huang .... second assistant director
Yang Wei .... third assistant director
Xijue Zhang .... third assistant director (as Zhang Xinyue)
Chunyu Zheng .... first assistant director
Art Department
Li Ji Qing .... assistant art director (as Kingki)
Liu Shuo .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Danrong Wang .... sound
Visual Effects by
Anuj Anand .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Jean-François Bachand .... digital supervisor: Technicolor Creative Services, Montreal
Ioan Balcosi .... compositor
Reuben Barkataki .... compositor
Kathryn Bolt .... senior compositor
Landon Bootsma .... digital compositor: Technicolor
Kris Brockman .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Jeff Bruneel .... senior compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Izet Buco .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Stuart Bullen .... roto/prep artist
Kyle Burris .... character technical director: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
John Cairns .... digital compositor
Breck Campbell .... title designer
Kevin Chandoo .... title design
Paul Chapman .... digital compositor
Craig Clarke .... senior compositor
Dug Claxton .... digital compositor
Anthony De Chellis .... animator: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Paul DeOliveira .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Mike Diltz .... digital compositor
Gene Dreitser .... senior technical director
Laura Dubsky .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Michael Elson .... executive producer: MPC
Philip English .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Matt Foster .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Rob Gennings .... animator: Technicolor
Brent Paul George .... animation director: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto (as Brent George)
Robert Hall .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Lionel Heath .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Richard Helliwell .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Gael Hollard .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Montreal
Vlad Holst .... digital artist: MPC
Marc Hutchings .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Garfie James .... animator: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Yanming Jiang .... visual effects supervisor
Drew Jones .... visual effects executive producer: MPC
Phil Jones .... visual effects supervisor
Khi-Hyun Kim .... visual effects artist
Martin Krol .... lead modeler: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Ryan Kuba .... visual effects coordinator: Technicolor Creative Services
Emanuel LaFrance .... digital compositor: Technicolor Montreal
Yann Laliberte .... digital compositor
Stuart Lashley .... visual effects plate supervisor: MPC
Claude Lauzon .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Montreal
Tracy Lefler .... visual effects production manager: Technicolor
John Leonti .... digital artist: MPC
Brenda Levert .... visual effects production manager: Technicolor Creative Services, Vancouver
Dany McDonald .... production coordinator: Technicolor Creative Services, Montreal
Ryan McDonald .... shader development
Alasdair McNeill .... roto/prep supervisor: MPC
Humayun Mirza .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Ryan Mullany .... roto/prep artist
Eric Myles .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Martin Newcombe .... matchmove artist
Jordan Nieuwland .... matte painter: Technicolor
Erik Nordby .... lead compositor
Jessica Norman .... visual effects supervisor: MPC
Sean O'Hara .... senior compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Mike Outlaw .... roto/prep artist: MPC
Hojin Park .... digital compositor: Technicolor, Toronto
Jeremy Price .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Vancouver
Persis Reynolds .... visual effects producer: Technicolor
Becky Roberts .... roto/prep coordinator: MPC
Ruben Salazar .... senior compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Tom Sinnott .... operations director: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Jason Snea .... lead compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Alexander L. Stephan .... effects technical director: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto (as Alex Stephan)
Paul Venn Stirling .... prep artist: MPC (as Paul Stirling)
Paul Venn Stirling .... roto artist: MPC (as Paul Stirling)
Sean Stranks .... digital compositor: Technicolor
Michael Tai .... visual effects production assistant: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
David Thompson .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto (as David C. Thompson)
Mark Tureski .... film scanning operator
Sebastien Veilleux .... digital compositor
Pat Wakefield .... digital compositor
Brent Whitmore .... digital compositor: Technicolor Creative Services, Toronto
Julia Wigginton .... visual effects producer: MPC
Sunny Wong .... digital compositor
Melody Woodford .... match move supervisor & coordinator: MPC
Sarah Wormsbecher .... visual effects production manager: Technicolor
Noel Wright .... digital compositor
Marusha Xeros .... visual effects producer: Technicolor Creative Services, Vancouver
Karl Claveria .... wire/rig removal (uncredited)
Rea Labayen .... wire/rig removal (uncredited)
Leo Moralina .... wire/rig removal (uncredited)
Ron Reyes .... wire/rig removal (uncredited)
Ivee Serna .... wire/rig removal (uncredited)
Klaus Steden .... digital cinema engineer: Technicolor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Du Bin .... assistant camera
Minghui Cao .... assistant camera
Xiao Er .... assistant camera
Dou Fei .... assistant camera
Yu Fei .... assistant camera
Raymond Lam .... Steadicam operator
Raymond Lam .... camera operator
Wang Lei .... assistant camera
Bin Li .... assistant camera
Wang Lian .... assistant camera
Shao Longwei .... assistant camera
Chen Lu .... assistant camera
Luo Meng .... assistant camera
Chen Qiang .... assistant camera
Qiuhong Xiao .... assistant camera
Ze Xie .... camera operator
Mingyue Xu .... assistant camera
Fujie Zhai .... gaffer
Zheng Zili .... gaffer
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lu Dan .... wardrobe assistant
Xiaojun Feng .... wardrobe assistant
Jin-Hua Gu .... wardrobe (as Gu Jinhua)
Shu-Chen Hsu .... costume supervisor (as Hsu Shu Chen)
Bao-Rong Huang .... wardrobe (as Huang Baorong)
Weili Luo .... wardrobe assistant
Ji Na .... wardrobe assistant
Shieh Ying Ying .... wardrobe assistant
Ming Zhu .... wardrobe assistant
Xiaolin Zhu .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Steven Delman .... digital intermediate colorist (as Steve Delman)
Rob Gyorgy .... DI editor
Heidi Holm .... digital intermediate project coordinator
Other crew
Chris Besseling .... uk marketing executive: metrodome
Mike 'Fuzzy' Ellis .... vice president of digital film
Eidan Hanzei .... adr voice replacement (as Henry Hayashi)
Xiaoqing Kang .... accountant
Hao Sun .... script supervisor
Qianning Tao .... script supervisor
Xiaoping Wang .... accountant
Yuanyuan Wang .... choreographer
Riga Wu .... equestrian director
Woo-Ping Yuen .... action choreographer
Weihua Zhao .... accountant
Kaitlin Collins .... special thanks
An Dong .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Ye yan" - China (original title)
"Legend of the Black Scorpion" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
131 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong announced on 28 Sept 2006 that this would be Hong Kong's entry to the 79th Oscar's Best Foreign Film category.See more »
Movie Connections:
Version of Hamlet (1990)See more »
Only For LoveSee more »


What are the differences between the Chinese Version and the original Hong Kong Version?
See more »
21 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
A Nutshell Review: The Banquet, 15 September 2006
Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

It's an oriental kung fu Hamlet.

Everyone's been saying it's loosely based on Shakespeare's tragedy, and to some, the movie's indeed a tragedy with its slowness in pace and lack of action, but I'd like to see it as because of its heavy reference to Hamlet (the poisoned quill, and many other plot points and scenes), it sort of created a crutch on which to lean the movie upon, hence the familiarity to some, therefore having the source serving as a double edged sword - the movie beholden to it and eventually ending it on a weak note.

Having inherited the creative team of Yuen Wo Ping (action choreography), Tan Dun (Music), Tim Yip (Art Direction), and the starlet in Ziyi Zhang (wonder why the westernized juxtaposition of her name) does not automatically replicate the success of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon that easily. It's the X-factor and the blending of elements of novelty in CTHD that made it a huge success, and blindly following the predetermined formula is akin to hammering a square peg into a round hole.

While the art direction is lush and everything looking adequately regal, somehow Tan Dun's music seemed to be muted throughout the movie, only exhibiting sporadic brilliance to drum up scenes with the soundtrack, or the hauntingly beautiful theme song. The major disappointment however, will be in the fighting scenes. Here, martial arts both function as a contrast to the much muted artsy style of the Hamlet here, Prince Wu Luan (Daniel Wu), highlighting the difference in power between the pen and the sword, as well as functioning as foreplay. I thought with the gratuitous fake blood spewing across the screen, it was kind of a homage to 70s Shaw Bros martial arts classics, and a nod to director Chang Cheh, the king of ketchup blood. The initial big sequenced battle scene might have whet appetites, but sadly subsequent battles do not match up, with its repetitive running up walls or in mid air, as if Yuen had run out of tricks in the wire-work manual, having at one point seemed to copy Tsui Hark's Dao (1995). There's one moment of innovation though in a scene of punishment not seen (at least to me) before.

But not that I'm complaining. If this martial arts in this movie is viewed without comparisons to other more recent fantasy martial arts movies like Hero and House of Flying Daggers, it is still enjoyable and beautifully choreographed, and surpasses The Promise by a huge mile. Just that it lacked a fresh look in battles, and the unimaginative costuming of the Imperial Guards didn't help, looking too close like distant cousins of Lord of the Ring's Nazguls / Ringwraiths / Black Riders.

Desire as a theme runs through the movie very strongly, the desire for love, endless power and pure, unadulterated revenge. Very briefly, the story by now will be fairly obvious with Emperor Li (Ge You) usurping the throne from his brother, and coverts his wife Empress Wan as his own, who at one point in time was Prince Wu Luan's old flame. The Prince here is a fellow in love with the arts and bent on avenging his father, and who is the subject of unrequited love by the daughter of a minister - Qing Nu (Zhou Xun).

It's all about the wearing of masks and the building of facades, of hiding true intentions to achieve personal objectives. The contrast between the two men in the Emperor and the Prince is looked into, their love lives examined - one who uses power to obtain love, while the other's fortune to be loved brought him unimaginable influence.

Despite its references to Hamlet, the focus of the movie here seemed to be Ziyi Zhang's Empress Wan, as she plots and schemes, leaving you perplexed as to whether to sympathize and pity her, or applaud her attempts at exacting her own brand of justice. Acting all round is nothing to rave about, and though Ge You's performance seemed the better of the lot, his measured, subtle ways as the Emperor comes off rather weakly as a man capable of scheming to get to where he is. Somehow, I thought that Hamlet allowed the acting to take a foot off the pedal as audiences would already put in place perceptions and direct translations of character for character.

All said, The Banquet is still a reasonably competent foray into the martial arts genre for director Feng Xiaogang, and if he were to put another movie from the genre out, I'll sure be there to watch it. Now to anticipate Zhang Yimou's next contribution to the genre.

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