I love watching movies! It’s one of my favorite past time in my life. If I remember vividly, the first time I watched a movie was in a betamax player. Somewhere in Time was the title. I did not understand that film when I watched it, maybe because I’m only like 7 or 8 years old back then. I watched it again when I got old and I can say it’s was a very bittersweet romantic movie.
As I grew older, I discovered that the US was not the only country that makes great movies. I saw great movies from around the globe like from the UK, Italy, other European countries, Philippines of course, Japan and lastly, China.
Chinese movies are great especially in the years of 80’s-90’s coming from Hongkong. But despite they were not Chinese territory yet, those films made from HK to show glimpse of China. Then there were legendary films like The Last Emperor, and My Farewell Concubine. Don’t forget the classic actions films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Once upon a time in China part 2 and my favorite Jackie Chan film, Drunken Master part 2.
Until now, I’m still following some chinese films but the recent film I really like was A Touch of Sin. I like the Chinese industry these days as they are now doing more contemporary films than historical action films.
With all these great chinese films, my favorite chinese film is Hero. Directed by Zhang Yimou which starred by Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Zhang Ziyi. Of I forgot the short role done by Donnie Yen!
It has a simple story, there was an officer Nameless, called by the King and commended him for killing the 3 warriors who lead the revolution against his kingdom. The officer told the story…
I know there is Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, who won Oscar awards and hailed as the best chinese film.. For me, it’s Hero! There are factors that I felt it’s the best chinese film for me.
First, it’s a very beautiful looking film. The scene when Zhang Ziyi fights in the forest, that is breathtaking. The set places, costumes used, even the colorful flags plus the great cinematography, every scene is eye catching.
Second, the screenplay is great! It has a simply story but how it unfolds, it is a spectacular reveal, especially the love story between Flying Snow and Broken Sword. Zhang Yimou was able to write a story that not only focuses in the fighting but also the emotions and decisions made by each character. Then you add the twists happening in the movie, that is a fantastic move by Zhang Yimou.
Third, to make this film beautiful plus the writing works almost perfectly.. The film is directed very well. His films are always colorful or shot well. This film his color selection chose well, like the emotions running in the film. One great example, when Nameless walking inside the kingdom, the color was stark, the light coming only from outside. It was like Nameless emotions. He has dark intentions but he shows his light persona in front of the emperor. Even the action scenes demonstrated here, were simply astounding. Even I want some hand to hand combat, it was compensated with great sword fighting scenes! From the fight between Nameless and Sky until the last attack of Nameless to the Emperor. It was pulsating and really gave me the excitement. He also gave balance between the drama, action and romance. The conflict between Nameless and Broken Sword is engaging. Then the romance of Broken Sword and Flying Snow can be another separate film! Even the last scene of Nameless, I almost cried at it because of what he did.
Last factor, the actors assembled here are just perfect. Jet Li’s performance here is like my top 3 of his films. He is calm yet you can see in his eyes the rage of what happened to Nameless. Tony Leung is also great as in every film he is. Maggie Cheung, wow, I can’t imagine that she is a great actress. Before this, I always remember her in the 80’s-90’s action comedy films like The protector 1 by Jackie Chan. Zhang Ziyi is almost great as the stubborn Moon. Even the Qin Emperor, I like the way he speaks, and you never thought that he is tyrant like others say. Very composed and deceptive.
With these factors, I think I haven’t found yet another chinese movie until now that matches all the qualities of this great chinese film.
I really like the essence of the story, which is even with sacrifices or deaths or war, people should think what’s the best of the county. That time, I did not know that this emperor united China as it shows today. Despite all the struggles, or changes happened in this great country, the people should thank this emperor.
I like the idea that the name of the Hero here is Nameless.