You Ge

You Ge

You Ge Quick Links

Film RSS

Farewell My Concubine Review


Weak
Chen Kaige cemented his international film credentials with the lush Farewell My Concubine, which presents a compendium of his expressionistic techniques and thematic concerns (striking imagery, fluid camera, emotional intensity, and, also, simple-minded historicity, banal character development, and an uninvolving narrative line).

Kaige's film charts the course of a unique romantic triangle that would even give Frank Borzage pause, following the relationship of two boyhood friends over half a century of turbulent Chinese history. After being abandoned by his prostitute mother at the Beijing Opera training school, young Douzi (Ma Mingwei as a child, Yin Shi as a teen, and Leslie Cheung as an adult) soon makes friends with the cocky Sitou (Fei Yang as a child, Yin Zhi as a teen, and Zhang Fengyi as an adult), and they both provide emotional support for the other as they undergo the grueling and pitiless opera school training that finds them, as adults, as the female and male role stars of the Beijing Opera. However, at the height of their fame, Sitou (now known as Duan Xiaolou) announces his intent to marry the sex-bomb prostitute Juxian (Gong Li). Douzi's (now known as Cheng Dieyi) obsessive jealousy and immediate dislike for Juxian leads him into the creepy arms of opera patron Yuan (Ge You) and to seek solace in opium-induced stupors. As the years pass and the old friends became increasingly estranged, they are finally, during the Gang of Four years, forced to publicly denounce each other as counter-revolutionaries. The result is humiliation and tragedy.

Continue reading: Farewell My Concubine Review

Farwell My Concubine Review


Good
If you've seen one Chinese period piece, well, you'll probably feel like you've seen Farewell My Concubine, a lush epic that traces 50 years in the lives of a pair of Beijing Opera stars.

Overlong and overwrought, our heroes (played by Leslie Cheung and Fengyi Zhang during their adult years) find themselves undergoing the torture of opera training during the 1920s, find fame and fortune on the eve of the Japanese occupation during WWII, find themselves outcast as traitors following the communist revolution in the 1960s, and try to make a comeback as a kitschy nostalgia play in 1977. Zhang takes the butch role of the king in the titular opera, while Cheung plays like a girl. Bisexuality is hinted at, never shown. Beatings are plentiful, as is that semi-off-key Chinese operatic warbling (which, I might add, gets old after 2 1/2 hours...)

Continue reading: Farwell My Concubine Review

You Ge

You Ge Quick Links

Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Film Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Film Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise.

Vacation Puts Ed Helms Face-To-Face With His Heroes

Vacation Puts Ed Helms Face-To-Face With His Heroes

Ed Helms has spoken about his initial reluctance to follow up the 80's cult classics.

American Ultra - Trailer

American Ultra - Trailer

Mike's current life revolves around his girlfriend, a healthy amount of weed and his job at the local cash & carry.

Advertisement
Michael Douglas Shifts From Ant-Man To Beyond The Reach

Michael Douglas Shifts From Ant-Man To Beyond The Reach

Michael Douglas' two movies this year couldn't be much more different.

Richard O'Brien To Return To 'The Rocky Horror Show' For First Time In 20 Years

Richard O'Brien To Return To 'The Rocky Horror Show' For First Time In 20 Years

O'Brien, Rocky Horror's creator, will be playing the narrator in a special West End run in September this year.

Is Calvin Harris About To Pop The Question?

Is Calvin Harris About To Pop The Question?

As soon a pop partnership Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift got together, we knew it...

Surprise New One Direction Single Tops iTunes Chart Within An Hour

Surprise New One Direction Single Tops iTunes Chart Within An Hour

Just a day after Zayn Malik said that he had left them to make “#realmusic”, One Direction...

Advertisement