White Vengeance tells the story of two brothers contending for supremacy during the fall of the Qin Dynasty, which ruled Imperial China from 221 to 206 BC. As rebels rose, the nation fell ...
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White Vengeance tells the story of two brothers contending for supremacy during the fall of the Qin Dynasty, which ruled Imperial China from 221 to 206 BC. As rebels rose, the nation fell into chaos. Liu Bang (Leon Lai) and Xiang Yu (Feng Shaofeng), became leaders of the rebellious army, and also became sworn brothers in battle. Xiang Yu and Liu Bang are close friends who both serve King Huai of Chu. King Huai uses a plot, saying that whoever can subvert the Qin kingdom in Guanzhong would be the Lord Qin, in order to benefit from the competition between Xiang Yu and Liu Bang. Xiang Yu is over-confident. He fights against the main force of Qin army, and entrusts Liu Bang with Yu Ji (Liu Yifei), the woman he loves. Liu Bang expresses his love to Yu Ji and takes the chance to invade Guanzhong first when most of Qin army is outside fighting against Xiang Yu's army. Xiang Yu is furious & betrayed when he found it. Xiang planned to kill Liu at a banquet held in Hong Men, during which Zhang ...Written by
The game that plays and important role in the movie is called 'weiqi' by the characters and Zhang Liang explains at the banquet that to play blindfolded one has to remember the current state of the each of the 361 (19x19) possible positions. This however, refers to the version of the game made popular several centuries later. The movie is set in late 3rd century BC, when the game was called 'yi' and was played on 17x17 board. See more »
I was fortunate enough to have caught this film during a long haul flight from Nagoya to Detroit. The English title was nondescript and did not hold much promise in itself. But luckily, I took that chance and witnessed a grand film inspired by an episode of Chinese history with some personal significance.
It is said that our family line extends from Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty. It was very interesting to see him portrayed in a movie for me to get a further idea of who this illustrious ancestor was.
The movie is set in the waning days of the Qin Dynasty. The impulsive Xiang Yu (Feng Shaofeng) and the compassionate Liu Bang (Leon Lai) lead the forces against the last Qin Emperor. But both of them also aspire to become the new Emperor themselves, leading to confrontation of military strategy and wits. There is also the additional gambit of a common love interest in the character of Yu Ji (YiFei Liu) to further spice up the conflicts.
The secondary characters of the respective wise advisers for each camp were as much front and center as the two lead characters. These were the elderly blind Fan Zeng (Anthony Wong) for camp Xiang Yu and the younger but equally masterful Zhang Liang (Hanyu Zhang) for camp Liu Bang. Watching their climactic battle-royale on the Weiqi game board was quite a spectacle to watch as filmed, although admittedly my lack of knowledge about game mechanics detracted from full appreciation. Those vague English subtitles with seemingly random numbers did not help at all.
It took time to get into the story as the story was told in flashbacks and the characters could all look the same until you get to know each one in more detail. The director Daniel Lee helps us by employing some color-coordination in the costumes to distinguish whose forces were whose. Once you get into the groove of the story, it will draw you into its spell.
The contrast of both rivals to the throne was emphasized up the film's conclusion, as one ended with melodramatic romance, and the other ended steeped in political paranoia. It was a well-told story overall, although we know this could not have been how it exactly happened in real life. It does make me want to read more about the actual historical events that inspired this movie.
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