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Sexually Chinese Movie - Curse of the Golden Flower

Chinese director Zhang Yimou has made some of the most fascinating films in cinema history. A short list would have to include "Red Sorghum," "Ju Dou" and "Raise the Red Lantern" from early in his career, along with 2004's "House of Flying Daggers." But his latest effort, "Curse of the Golden Flower," is a major disappointment.

It's easy to understand why this epic set in 10th-century China has generated so much buzz: It stars Chow Yun-Fat ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") and Gong Li, two of the most charismatic actors on the international scene. But their talents are wasted on a glorified soap opera that clearly aspires to the crossover appeal of "Crouching Tiger" but is woefully low on martial-arts action.

Yun-Fat is the majestic but moody Emperor Ping; Li is the sleek but bleak Empress Phoenix. Their marriage is as sour as their surroundings are opulent. Clouds of discontent also hover over their son Prince Jie (Jay Chou) and stepson Crown Prince Xiang (Liu Ye). Ultimately, it all comes down to the question of who is to reign — and who is to die.

Yimou's gift for spectacle remains intact. But that's simply not enough to stave off boredom.

Yun-Fat and Li can't be faulted. Their performances are as good as could be expected, given the material. Because they're such fine actors, it's almost worth the price of admission just to revel in their interactions, despite the dubious circumstances.

In recent years, Yimou has alternated between making martial-arts epics such as "House of Flying Daggers" and "Hero," and intimate dramas such as "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" and "Happy Times." But regardless of genre, he has consistently demonstrated considerable artistry.

Perhaps the unfortunate "Curse of the Golden Flower" is merely a transitional film along the way to greater glory.


This post first appeared on China Empire, please read the originial post: here

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Sexually Chinese Movie - Curse of the Golden Flower

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