In 8th century China, 10-year-old general's daughter Nie Yinniang is handed over to a nun who initiates her into the martial arts, transforming her into an exceptional assassin charged with eliminating cruel and corrupt local governors. One day, having failed in a task, she is sent back by her mistress to the land of her birth, with orders to kill the man to whom she was betrothed - a cousin who now leads the largest independent military region in North China. After 13 years of exile, the young woman must confront her parents, her memories and her long-repressed feelings. A slave to the orders of her mistress, Nie Yinniang must choose: sacrifice the man she loves or break forever with the sacred way of the righteous assassins.Written by
Director Hou told the New York Times in an interview published on 10/07/2015 that he would break the fight scene into smaller parts as the actors weren't skilled fighters. He would also let the actors start fighting when they chose rather than directing them to fight. See more »
The way of the sword is pitiless. Saintly virtues play no part in it.
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In Japan, the film has been released with an additional footage contains the scene involving the Mirror Polisher (Satoshi Tsumabuki) and the wife of the Mirror Polisher (Shiori Kutsuna). This version is only available on Japanese Blu-Ray from Shochiku Home Video but without English subs. See more »
Great if you are a film student, rather lost on you if you are not
Birdman was a weird movie that was filled with stellar performances and nuanced scenes. It won at the Oscars because it was a film about film and theater makers, but few regular people actually got it at the level it was meant to. Even so, it was a great film on several levels.
I say this because The Assassin is kind of the same, but not giving a damn if you understand or not what is going on. The scenes are beautiful and I am sure filled with significance that grows the more Chinese you are or the more versed you are in the "art of the scene". For the regular viewer, though, is a very slow story related to Chinese characters that kind of dress the same, look the same and rarely say anything. When they do say something, they choose the minimal amount of words to convey nuanced meaning - which are then translated to English.
An adaptation of a Chinese story that has little to do with anything but the beginning of the film, this is more about the inner world of the girl assassin as portrayed by beautiful scenery and slow, calm, cricket noise filled sound. Or at least I think it is. I might be wrong.
Bottom line: great action scenes, all 4 or 5 of them. They all last for a few seconds each. Great dialogue, the 20 or so lines in all the movie. Fantastic nature shots and historically accurate decor, in the rest of the film. Not a film you will hate, but imagine you are watching people you can't distinguish one from another and that are prone to fight for a minute before they say anything... if they even do.
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