During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
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Set during China's Three Kingdom's era (AD 220-280). The story of a great king and his people, who will be expelled from their homeland and will aspire to claim it. The king, violent and ambitious, of mysterious methods and motives; his general, a visionary who yearns to win the final battle but needs to prepare his plans in secret; the women of the palace, who struggle to find redemption in a world where they have no place; and a commoner called "Lord of all the world", will be the characters around who turn the inexorable forces of this story.Written by
More than a thriller, but a Shakespearean-like play set in ancient China that thrills you with all the crafts
This film will be well remembered, not for its ink paint style of cinematography, but for its characters, dialogue and ensemble performance. Deng Chao, who plays both the Shadow and the Commander at a time and can be often seen in the same frame with the help of marvellous visual effects, deserves all the attention and compliments for his commitment to acting. Didn't expect the adapted-from-historical-events drama turns out to be an action thriller ending with heavy blood stains, and the film almost reminded me of Feng Xiao-Gang's "The Banquet" when the ending credits rolled. But then, when I thought of the body moves of the Shadow, the Commander and his wife among Yin and Yang in the fight-practicing scene, and those tender moments between Shadow and his love, and their passion covered or burned through eye contact and physical distance in the light and the dark, I realised this is a Zhang Yimou film. The craftsmanship is simply for storytelling!
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