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Yang Yuhuan is a wife of Prince Li Mao and the Emperor Tang Ming Huang's daughter-in-law. When Prince Li's mother, Wu commits suicide after her conspiracy against the Emperor fails, Yang is abandoned and is given to the Emperor in exchange for the crown prince. Their affection grew through the political struggle and living together in the palace. But their happiness and good days do not last long when the Lushan Rebellion breaks out.
How to turn a historical epic into a shallow cheap drama.
Yang Gui Fei was a consort who lived in a perilous time. Her beauty made her into a pivotal role in savage political struggle of ancient Chinese monarchy, but audience won't find any of those here. Lady of the Dynasty is a dull spectacle that waddles for two hours with silly low production drama. It's equivalent to brooding teen wallowing and no amount of cosmetic can save it from ruin.
The story is mostly told from perspective of Byzantine ambassador. This setting already proves to be problematic early on since the ambassador pops up in extremely convenient scenes, even having impossible information on the royalties' sexual activities. He delivers some musing every five minutes, but what's supposed to be inspirational ends up being ridiculously cheesy.
The rest is a less than tactical maneuvering between the characters. There's debauchery and betrayal theme, but they are presented so feebly between exhausting long scenes. Some conversations can take incredibly long time and all they do are displaying juvenile emotions. It even repeats several scenes needlessly, sadly these forced dramatic moments only add boredom to the already tiresome experience.
It has a couple of decent costumes and settings, although the colorful CG might look awkward at times. The lead Fan Bingbing is definitely attractive, but the movie relies too much on her and the lack of meaningful narrative actually drains her charm. Not to mention when it tries to be dramatic the moaning opera soundtracks becomes severely annoying.
Forget historical accuracy or epic tale, with the abysmal drama Lady of the Dynasty is far from exotic and tragic legend, it's merely a pretentious excuse for cheap romance.
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