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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous film and that's all
on June 24, 2007
Zhang's "Curse Of The Golden Flower" is a grandiose spectacle...a fable for the eyes and ears to enjoy. Unfortunately, for me, that's ALL this film is. It's like a beautiful sunset or a wonderful aroma. It is what it is, and offers little more.
Once you have watched this film you will automatically notice the lack of character development through out this story. You simply cannot tell such an intriguing story without letting the audience in and having them care deeply for your players. The only character, who I really felt had any depth here, was Prince Jai; and even that could've been much deeper. The color palette of this film is not the only thing I have problem with this film. The costumes in the movie seem like somebody mixed up the woman's Chinese imperial costumes with the woman's European royal costumes of the 15th century. I have never seen so much cleavage in a Chinese film! As gorgeous as they are they did seem a little too force.
I love Zhang. I think he's a genius and his body of work proves this, so maybe that added to my disappointment. I had very high expectations...Chow Yun Fat...Gong Li...How can it miss? Well it missed. It almost felt rushed...Like it should've been a 4-hour epic. I think that's what it would've taken to really tell this as it should've been told. It's hard to explain; and the film is so gorgeous that its even hard to think that it would need that much added to it, but in my opinion it did.
The story, from what I understand, comes from old Chinese text. It is a brilliant tale of an empire, and its first family. I really cannot get into detail anymore than that without spoiling anything. Jist? The emperor is coming home to his palace, and so is Jai, one of his sons. Living there with their mother, are his other two sons, the crown Prince (the oldest of the three??) and Prince Cheng; the youngest of the three. Emperor Ping is a ruthless leader, and leads his family in the same fashion. Backstabbing, plotting, love and hate are all present here. It could've been so much more. At any rate, I would recommended this to those who want to treat themselves to a visual feast for the eyes.