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
During the Three Kingdoms 1,650 years ago, deception was often employed to survive in the high courts of kings. The war commander of one nation is nothing more than a shadow. His twin brother, the real talent, bides his time in the underworld until he can stage a coup and take revenge upon the king. Yet decoys assume a life of their own, and the shadow twin may take the power and possessions of the one he serves, but only if he is willing to strike and at the right moment. A love interest could provide all the motivation he needs, or perhaps all the distraction to cause him to fail and to be recognized for who he is.
There are many layers to this complex and resplendent film. Every frame is beautiful. Backgrounds are in bold black and white, with human figures providing the color. There is pulse quickening action, seductive romance, the eerily enchanting chords of the Chinese harp and ambient sound of rain and running water, wonderful dialogue, humor, history, yin and yang, intriguing stories, attractive people, fantastic acting and sword play, constant surprises, and more. Deng Shao plays both the shadow and the commander, and he does so brilliantly. North American premiere and the best film I saw at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
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