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82 user 182 critic

The Assassin (2015)

Nie yin niang (original title)
An assassin accepts a dangerous mission to kill a political leader in seventh-century China.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Zhong Acheng), (screenwriter) | 3 more credits »
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2,018 ( 292)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 27 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Tian Ji'an
...
Nie Yinniang
Yun Zhou ...
Lady Tian
...
The Mirror Polisher
Dahong Ni ...
Nie Feng
Mei Yong ...
Yinniang' Mother
Zhen Yu Lei ...
Tien Xing (Yinniang's Uncle)
Nikki Hsin-Ying Hsieh ...
Huji (as Hsieh Hsin-Ying)
Ethan Juan ...
Xia Jing (as Juan Ching-Tian)
Fang-yi Sheu ...
Princess Jiacheng / Princess-Nun Jiaxin
Jacques Picoux ...
Lady Tian's Teacher
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shao-Huai Chang ...
Chiang Nu
Fang Mei ...
Yinniang' Grandmother
Chun Shih
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Storyline

8th century China. 10-year-old general's daughter Nie Yinniang is abducted by a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was promised - a cousin who now leads the largest military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins. Written by Ipsith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

china | love | horse | arrow | archer | See All (40) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

27 August 2015 (China)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassin  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$47,892 (USA) (16 October 2015)

Gross:

$613,556 (USA) (11 December 2015)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hou Hsiao-hsien's seventh film that competed for the Palme d'Or. See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rohan / Duc de Rohan
Performed by Bagad Men Ha Tan and Doudou N'Diaye Rose
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
if you're only interested in fighting and killing, this might not be the film for you
31 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm surprised by the bad reviews on IMDb. I think the problem is that a film titled "The Assassin" happens to attract a certain type of audience--people who are only interested in martial arts flicks, or who walk in expecting an action-packed adrenaline ride. You might be disappointed in this film, but I don't think this movie was meant for you.

A previous review mentioned the "depressed, stilted tones" of the actors.

I don't know what you were expecting ... an assassin during the Tang Dynasty to burst out into song about her inner anguish and emotional turmoil? I watched an interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien, the director who won the prestigious Best Director award at Cannes for this very film. He used a tennis analogy to explain it perfectly, so I'm just going to paraphrase below:

"If you watch the tennis greats like Federer or Nadal battling it out, there's not much expression on their faces. The speed that they're going at, the power in each exchange, there's no room for emotions."

The director, Hou, actually instructed Shu Qi (The Assassin) to tone down her expressions. The crew filmed the fight sequences again, and again, and again, until the actors were all bruised up and the fight flowed naturally, by instinct. By this point, there was really no need for dialogue or excessive expressions.

If you're an assassin fighting for your life, kill or be killed, are you really going to be thinking "let me get my blue steel pout ready for the camera"?

If you can get over the need for overly dramatic expositions and go into a film knowing the main character only has approximately nine spoken lines, and if you can enjoy a film for how starkly beautiful it is.... this might be the film for you.


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