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|Index||18 reviews in total|
First of all it is better to watch the film in full 4.5 hr instead of
watching as 2 parts, which is what I did in film fest.
Secondly, you have to know a little of history and tradition of Taiwan and roles of aboriginals to truly have a feeling for the movie. Just Wiki "Wushe Incident", and "Taiwanese Aboriginal" and that makes things much better as you watch.
Anyway back to the film, the selling point seems to be all the killing, the action, the big budget. However after watching it I've found out it's more about the value of "death" that the film tries to bring to us, and death weights in front of abstract values such as "tradition", "dignity", etc.
It's really an entertaining film for sure and throughout the 4.5 hrs time just flies, and you have to adjust yourself to have that desire to discover more about aboriginals believes and ways of living, much like watching documentary films mentality.
I can't stop comparing this "Civilization vs. Barbarian" plot to what is happening in middle east right now. In such sense history is repeating, and the film is definitely pointing out how pointless the loss of lives is (depends on which stand you are taking though).
Overall this is one of the best and most enjoyable films in recent years. The director is trying to lead us to think critically towards topics on death, values, tradition and how these would change when worlds collide.
One of Taiwan's biggest ever films today, probably the most expensive
ever made and looks set to be the highest earning to date. The story of
Seediq Bale, based on the Wushe Incident is split into two segments,
the first being entitled The Sun Flag (tai-yang qi) and the second, The
Rainbow Bridge (cai-hong qiao). Seediq Bale is the best looking
Taiwanese production to date, it seems on par with the majority of
action films coming straight out of Hollywood. The battle scenes are
impressive, they're fast paced with a lot of of excitement and thrills,
there's explosions, blood splatters and much like you'd expect from
headhunters, there's a few heads rolling.
Story: The story moves quickly despite the movie being close to 2 and a half hours long. There is a small bit of background and lead up to the Japanese arriving but not a great deal. When the Japanese arrive it also doesn't seem that much happens in the story, it doesn't give you complex characters or anything you must grasp or understand. It's a simple story but flows well and entertains.
Characters: Character building and general development is a problem in this movie, although it is entertaining with no boredom from start to finish it doesn't have much depth to it. You must take the characters on face value as you don't really get a sense of who they are. There is one character who can be classed as the lead but you even don't get to know who he is. Throughout the movie you're introduced to numerous characters, both on the aboriginal side and the Japanese side, yet you don't get to know more than the basics of who they are.
Directing: Te-Sheng Wei has previous had a bit hit in Taiwan with Cape No.7 which guaranteed him the funding for this movie. But still his style is not flawless, at times he comes across as still being an amateur with some very strange shots and some even more bizarre cuts. More than one scene had him building up, suspense and emotion was all there and then he suddenly cuts to something completely different. It kills the feeling but also provides a kind of shock.
Also its probably worth having a little background on headhunting traditions before watching this film, without understanding about their culture at times you might just find yourself rooting for the Japanese side.
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, sure it could've been better but at the same time it could've been a lot worse. It's receiving a lot of praise in Taiwan with this movie smashing records and the follow up looking set to break even more. One things for sure, I'll be booking my tickets for the second instalment.
I walked out of the cinema with both surprise and worry. I'm worried
because maybe this is not a very good film, especially not a good
"commercial film" to make both ends meet, but I'm really glad to see
that Te-Sheng Wei can still insist on his idea even in such a big
Before going to the theater, my first concern was whether it would become a stereotypical nationalism or humanism film, because The Wushe Incident had been represented so many times in our history class in Taiwan that it seemed to be too difficult to make this film without compromising on political correctness, but Te-Sheng Wei made it！
Sàidékè balái presented a mass of killing and death, not in a humanism or Han Chinese Nationalism way, but from the aspect of the Seediq. I have heard people arguing if it is necessary to have so much violence in this film, but I have to say that the value of peace or anti-war is the main stream nowadays but not so to the traditional Seediq that time. Therefore, I think the director is not a moral relativist, he just chose not to judge the past with today's value, and resisted the mainstream that drowned the voice of the minority.
It impressed me that there was little Chinese or Taiwanese through out this film. Instead, the film is composed of Seediq language and Japanese. We should cherish it that 80 years after the The Wushe Incident, we can finally see a film which represents historical event not based on the authority opinion but on people who didn't lead the history, i.e. the native.
I agree too. I did some wiki research when I first learn about this
film and it is really helpful to get a fuller sense of the theme given
a basic historical context. Disclaimer: I have seen the first part only
(the second part is in theaters today in HK).
Similar to previous comment, this movie reminds me of the situation in Tibet right now. How the "Han-ization" is happening when the culture and religion in Tibet is slowing disappearing. What would I do if I were one of the young men in the tribes in the movie?
And is this that much different to the change happening to our very own culture (both Eastern and Western) in the face of globalization and extreme consumerism? This is how much the film has provoked me into contemplating.
Also with all the head chopping and fighting scenes the director has successfully illustrates the values and beliefs of life of the tribes without a taint of violence. Yes it's bloody but not violent. Wonder how that is possible right? (This is refreshing in the midst of our media culture on big screens and on TV).
I would not use the word entertaining for this movie but nonetheless it is not as serious/"boring" as the topic and plot might sound. And 144 minutes just flew by without my notice and my 60+ years old parents were actually hoping to watch the second half right after the first.
Definitely a not-to-miss for this year!
well, for whom doesn't have time to read my full review, let's say that if you loved both LAST OF THE MOHICANS and APOCALYPTO,then i'm pretty sure you will love this movie. This is a great movie about war strategy, tribes, honor,hope.Off course there is a plenty scene of blood because it is war, but the bloody effect is not so over than Spartacus TV series. Points of view of several scene are great, many aerial, of camera-handed run... No doubt, it is a modern war movie. if you got boring during Narnia or Lord of Rings, then you will get what you want here. There is mass-fighting scene, uncut real fight, very captivating. i did not give the max evaluation because women in the movie, are very 'platonic', linear role and 'too much respected' (which was not during a real war). I guess the director wanted to keep a part of his audience (and not sexual scene either of course).
If you are looking for an epic sized film look no further than the
Asian film market. They have cornered the market on delivering huge
scale movies on a regular basis like no other. Warriors of the Rainbow:
Seediq Bale is not only an epic film it is the most expensive film to
ever come out of Taiwan. Produced by John Woo, the film was originally
released in Taiwan as two films running at over 4 and a half hours, but
released in a single US version at about 2 and a half hours. Can this
much be trimmed from a movie a still work clearly enough to keep the
film's epic story in-tact and capture audiences? Warriors of the
Rainbow is based on the 20th Century history of two warring tribes that
not only clashed over the land they inhabited, but also a bigger war
against the Japanese as they begin to colonize the island and wipe them
out. Forging an alliance with the other tribes, they took the Japanese
by surprise only to have to face an unstoppable force as they are
attacked by aircraft and poison gas. This is not only a truly epic
film; it is one that will leave you with some sort of emotional
response. Whether its sadness, anger, or just awe, you cannot walk away
from this movie without it affecting you in some way. This is an
extremely violent and graphic movie, but is necessary to really convey
this little known time in Taiwan history. At first this film feels a
bit like Apocalypto then takes a turn to something like Last of the
Mohicans, but with a way more violent and deep emotional story. It's
hard to believe the amount of action that is crammed into this film and
still have such a powerful story. This is a well-made, well-executed
film that is hard to watch at times due to the content. Besides the war
violence, there is a heavy amount of gore as well as suicide and
children being killed that may be hard to watch for some people.
This is easily one of the most emotionally charge epic war like movies to come out in a long time. With the amount of content that is included in this film, you can only imagine what else could have been cut out for this condensed US release. If you love Asian cinema, war films, or just great filmmaking, this is a must see film. Just be warned as mentioned before that there are some pretty heavy visuals.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One thing any viewer of this movie needs to know before going into the
movie is that their are a few ridiculously cheesy scenes such as when a
hut explodes the images of the native warriors are badly added into the
effects of the explosions, as well at the ending the remaining Warriors
walk on a very unrealistic rainbow into their heaven. Along with that
their are many scenes with fake looking rocks, jumping scenes with
actors, and back drops. There are also some drawn out singing scenes,
beautiful songs.... but still. Might as well add in that the ending is
With the negatives out of the way, the film is very well acted. The battle scenes constantly leave any viewer wanting more, if, of course, you enjoy brutal war scenes. Besides the scenes which I have listed above, the set, in most cases, is quite beautiful. The story drags on for a good four hours but I find most of the scenes necessary to bring the message of the film. Also, it would not hurt to do some research on the historical side of the film either, to know where the story derives from.
Over all it is a magnificent film, but you just have to get over the CGI.
I wont say much about this film, but what I will say is this.... I am
from England, but I have a huge interest in world cinema as well as
action movies from the far East, I have been watching both for over 30
years, so I somewhat understand myths and traditions and folklore from
that part of the world. Pretty much on all these accounts the film
delivers in bundles, it wont be to everyones tastes, but considering
where this film comes from, and what the Director has done it is
incredible. You would not get a film like this anymore from Hollywood,
the last film I can remember that it really reminded me of is GLORY
(for those of you that know it), although that is Hollywood, and this
is Taiwanese. They were both unrelenting though. This motion picture
saga has...Great landscapes, beautiful haunting tribal folksongs in the
soundtrack, and authentic wardrobe and sets, obviously some of the
other comments that detract from the film might be fair, but this is a
moving and unforgiving four and a half hour epic, where else are you
gonna get to see a film like this ?
Red Cliff parts 1 and 2 maybe....but this is a Nobel and Splendid film.
Wei Te-Sheng had this movie planned way before his hit movie "Cape
No.7" which was a big hit. And his efforts really shows in this movie,
it's basically a high budget epic from taiwan that is most definitely
worth watching. On the exterior it might seem like another historical
movie about Japanese occupation and invasion and how they mistreated,
enslaved and also raped the people on the land they invaded. While also
taking away their tradition, culture, language and freedom. Thus making
the people rise up and throw a rebellion and fight the Japanese for
justice, pride and freedom. But this movie has a lot of interior
elements as well. It really does a good job of now going down a narrow
rebellion movie but brings out the scars, the harshness and manly
pride. Some scenes are uncomfortable to see but it shows the brutality
and the length the rebels are willing to go. The movie takes place in
taiwan during the 1895 and 1945 on a land where two tribes use to fight
each other. but what happens when a more menacing enemy comes to
enslave all of them? This movie is simply very well crafted with good
pacing and editing. Wei Te-Sheng seems like a talented director and I
am grateful that his vision his got from a comic book came to life on
the big screen. This feels kind of like a taiwanese version of the
movie "300" except with more substance and emotion with scars going for
it. Highly recommended to anyone that enjoys historical movies with
some realistic guerrilla battle tactics.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Japan took possession of Taiwan from China when it was ceded to them
after China's Qing Dynasty lost the first Sino Japanese war of 1884
1885 and we first pick the story up there. The Japanese were a more
controlling Colonial force and did not tolerate aboriginals such as the
Seediq and called them 'Seiban' or 'barbarians' and treated them as
inferiors. They ruled harshly and built up resentments that led to a
number of insurrections that led to The Wushe Incident of 1930 that is
the central point of this film.
The indigenous tribes had also fought one another over hunting grounds and other causes for centuries and the divisions that this caused are exemplified here and indeed how the Japanese exploited such to turn tribes against each other. The chief of the Seediq was Mouna Rudau and he ha tried appeasement but one slight too many pushed him to seek to join the tribes together and make a stand against the vastly better equipped Japanese. Once the die was cast they had all foreseen where it would end.
Now this film sticks to the documented facts extremely well, the acting is all excellent and there is a ton of action. It was made in 2011 but some of the CGI is a bit obvious. Despite that this will bring you along for a great roller coaster ride of action. The fight scenes are all done extremely well and when people get hurt they really are hurt. This is a great tribute to the culture of the Seediq and their allies and to a part of history that we have not heard much about. It is also the sort of film you could easily watch again. In aboriginal, Japanese and Hokkien with pretty good subtitles and a run time of just over two and a half hours every second of which is put to good use completely recommended.
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