11 user 14 critic

Mei Lanfang (2008)

0:22 | Trailer
A biographical account of Mei Lanfang, China's greatest opera star.


Kaige Chen


Kaige Chen (screenplay), Geling Yan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
20 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Sou suo (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story begins on a bus, when white-collar worker Ye refuses to give up her seat to a senior citizen. Her defiance is videotaped by a journalist intern and played during a news show. The ... See full summary »

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Yuanyuan Gao, Chen Yao, Mark Chao
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: You Ge, Xueqi Wang, Xiaoming Huang
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Set in a small Chinese village, where an illegal trade in human blood has caused the spread of HIV; two AIDS sufferers surprisingly fall in love with each other and decide to risk everything to pursue their last chance at happiness.

Director: Changwei Gu
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Aaron Kwok, Wenli Jiang
Wu ji (2005)
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Empowered by the love of a slave (Jang), a royal concubine (Cheung) is given the chance to make an extraordinary decision.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Cecilia Cheung, Dong-Gun Jang, Hiroyuki Sanada
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Based on Xu Haofeng's novel A Monk Comes Down the Mountain, the film relates the story of a listless young Taoist cleric called He Anxia who is ejected from his impoverished monastery and ... See full summary »

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Baoqiang Wang, Xuejian Li, Wei Fan
Ye yan (2006)
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

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.

Director: Xiaogang Feng
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, You Ge, Daniel Wu
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A violin prodigy and his father travel to Beijing, where the father seeks the means to his son's success while the son struggles to accept the path laid before him.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Yun Tang, Peiqi Liu, Hong Chen
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A blind man's master told him that after he has broken 1000 strings on his Banjo, he can open the Banjo to get a script for his eyes. After 60 years he broke the 1000th string...

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Zhongyuan Liu, Lei Huang, Qing Xu
Zi hudie (2003)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Ding Hui is a member of Purple Butterfly, a powerful resistance group in Japanese occupied Shanghai. An unexpected encounter reunites her with Itami, an ex-lover... and officer with a ... See full summary »

Director: Ye Lou
Stars: Ziyi Zhang, Tôru Nakamura, Ye Liu
Feng yue (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Not far from Shanghai, in a country town stands the palatial home of the Pang family. Old Master Pang is an addict who brings up his beautiful daughter Ruyi on opium smoke. Her older ... See full summary »

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Li Gong, Kevin Lin
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In pre-unified China, the King of Qin sends his concubine to a rival kingdom to produce an assassin for a political plot, but as the king's cruelty mounts she finds her loyalty faltering.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Li Gong, Fengyi Zhang, Zhou Sun
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This film is adapted from the novel of Ah Cheng. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976),

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Yuan Xie, Xuewen Yang, Shaohua Chen


Credited cast:
Leon Lai ... Mei Lanfang
Ziyi Zhang ... Meng Xiaodong
Honglei Sun ... Qiu Rubai
Hong Chen ... Fu zhifang
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Masanobu Andô ... Ryuichi Tanaka
Yanjun Bi Yanjun Bi ... Mei Yu-tian
Bin Li Bin Li ... Qiu's Mother
Mingchen Li Mingchen Li ... Lao Song
Shengsu Li Shengsu Li ... Yan Huizhu
Jingxi Liu Jingxi Liu ... Mei's Grandmother
Jixian Lu Jixian Lu ... Lu Er Ye
Yueming Pan ... Zhu Huifang
Qian Po Qian Po ... Journalist Qian
Xiaoman Shi Xiaoman Shi ... Ma San
Xueqi Wang ... Shi Sanyan


A biographical account of Mei Lanfang, China's greatest opera star.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


History of China's opera caught up in the political upheaval of change.


See all certifications »



China | Hong Kong



Release Date:

5 December 2008 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Eterno Feitiço See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


China's official submission to 82nd Academy Award's Foreign Language category (2010). See more »


Ni Dong Wo De Ai
Performed by Ziyi Zhang, Leon Lai
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Forever Enthralled?
17 February 2009 | by samuelding85See all my reviews

Chinese director Chen Kaige did the Chinese proud by directing Farewell My Concubine in 1993, which turns out to be the first Chinese film to receive an Academy Award nominations for Best Foreign Features (1994) and brings home The Golden Palm Awards in 1994 Cannes Film Festival.

Farewell tells us a story of 2 Peking opera actors and the bond shared between both from the 1930's till the early 90's. Today, Chen wants to bring the magic back again, and here we have his latest feature, Forever Enthralled. Also known as Mei Lanfang in Mandarin, the film serves to be a tribute to the late Peking opera master, Mei Lanfang, who was not only well known for portraying female roles in the play, but also being the first Chinese actor to performed in America.

Sad to the say, the magic seems to fail despite placing lots of effort to bring the life story of the late Peking opera master to screen.

In a duration of 147 minutes, you will see the life of Mei in three stages: teenager, young adult in his 20's, and a more matured Mei in his 40's. Featuring Leon Lai as Mei in his adulthood and Sun Honglei as Qiu Rubai, the movie should be renamed as 'Mei Lanfang and Qiu Rubai - The Two Sworn Brothers'. This can be supported with Qiu Rubai attracted and bedazzled with Mei's skills in portraying a female role, which leads him to support Mei's career in various ways.

From the young Mei Lanfang competing with his actor grandfather, short romance with fellow actress Meng Xiaodong (Zhang Ziyi) after married to another fellow actress Fu Zhifang (Chen Hong), to how he refused to performed for the Japanese during World War 2, Qiu Rubai has always been with Mei Lanfang in all ways.

The main highlight of the film which keeps the audience going on for more will be the first 50 minutes of the film. A teenage Mei (Yu Shaoqun) was a famous actor, which makes him to go a path less traveled by changing the style in a Peking opera. The conflict between his grandfather and Mei shows how Mei wants to change the presentation of the opera, so as to live up to the words left by his great grandfather, where Mei is to bring Peking opera to a new level where actors gained their respects. By defying his grandfather's wishes and creates a new play, Mei has become more famous than ever, which leads him to his stardom for the next few decades.

This is the only part of the story that really lives up to the title. The moment Mei reaches adulthood, the story has fall flat, unfortunately. Even when Chen Kaige wants to highlight the important point of Mei being the first Chinese actor to perform in America, it fails to salvage the remaining parts of the story. Being the most important point of the story, it was given a mere 10 minutes to summarize Mei's fame in America. Yu Shaoqun shines as a young Mei, where not only he was given ample time to portray his inner struggle, but also appears in various plays in the film. Leon, however, doesn't get much chance to put on the thick makeup and impersonates the beauties of the past in his play.

Too much focuses were given to Mei's romance with Meng, and how Mei refused to performed for the Japanese. Zhang's appearance of Meng takes up only 30 minutes of the story, despite being highlighted as the leading actress. Apart from a bad dubbed over during her opera performances, Zhang wasn't given much chance to explore her role. Chen Hong gets a bigger share in terms of appearances, but less lines. Her appearance as a middle-aged Fu Zhifang is a replacement of younger Fu Zhifang, portrayed by Gillian Chung. Chung's appearance in the film has been removed after the nude photo scandal in 2008, which has unfortunately, damaged part of the film. One will not know how Mei befriends Fu and in the later years of their life, husband and wife.

It was Sun Honglei who makes the film watchable. Playing Qiu Rubai from an adult to an elderly, his influence towards Mei has changed Mei's life, which was described in detail.

It is not surprising that one will compare Forever Enthralled with Farewell My Concubine. In all, Mei Lanfang shines in the real life, but Farewell My Concubine will still be everyone's favorite in reel life.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed