In a beautiful pavilion in 1930's Suzhou. Cui Hua (Rie Miyazawa, 47 Ronin) is a famous songstress courtesan, marrying into the noble house. She develops a dubious relationship with a female cousin of the family and also being admired secretly by her butler. Rong Lan (Joey Wang, A Chinese Ghost Story Series), the cousin, is a modern strict and nice teacher who wants to be independent and serves her country, but when she meets the charismatic Xing Zhi Gang (Daniel Wu, New Police Story), an official from the North, all her plans go astray, But these two women's love bears no fruit with their men and in the end they have only each other to lean on.
Peony Pavilion was premiered in the Opening Gala of the 25th Hong Kong Film Festival. The title was borrowed from a Kunju(a form of Chinese Opera)title which was a symbol of love. The film indeed was about love, a complex relationship about two women, very much like a parallel to the acclaimed 'Farewell My Concubine'.
Being an aesthetic, all films by Director Yonfan were beautifully shot. The Jade Pavilion was no exception. It was a visual treat. The art direction and cinematography of the film were nothing less than perfect.
However, compared with Farewell My Concubine, The Jade Pavilion was naive and shallow in portraying the relationship between the three leading characters. The story led to nowhere. Throughout the entire movie I have failed to have any feelings or to identify myself with any of the characters in the film.
Yonfan is far superior a cinematographer than he is a screen writer.
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