First off this movie LOOKS great. The cinematography, the period costumes, the landscapes and the sets were masterfully done in exacting details giving the movie a genuine feel of the period (Late Imperial China during the Boxer Rebellion). It is an historical drama as well as a tragic love story telling of a pivotal time in a family. The gravity of the film never lets up and the drama is, at some points, a bit over the top but the subject matter, the crumbling of a banking family by external and internal problems, is a heavy one. This movie comes with some very harsh scenes and will not be for everyone but those who enjoy well shot, well acted (if not a bit over the top on the drama), and well set period pieces with a touch of history will like the movie. I did.