‘The Emperor and The Assassin’

So I took up this film with the hopes that it would be a good one and very entertaining. Needless to say, the reviews on Amazon were rather positive in most respects, quite a few naming it as a great epic of our time. I think that one described it as “The LOTR before the LOTR” (speaking of the movies, obviously). This seemed a good introduction to a topic I’ve already seen one cinematic take on (‘Hero’) and quite liked, so I went ahead.

What awaited me could not be compared to the Lord of the Rings (either the cinematic masterpiece or the literary work) in no way — indeed, I am more than likely to question whether we were watching the same film at all. The pace was slow! This, coming from me, a fan of Caprica and other similar shows, should be a condemnation that to a normal person signifies that “nothing goes on for the entirety of the show” which would be a bit off but not by much.

Aside from the very disturbingly slow pace (which was not even graciously acted out as in ‘Confucius’ or similar movies) we go into the world and we find a scheming nest of vipers. Which, describes politics quite well… only that in this case, the nest of vipers sheds all trails of polity and we see kings yelling and rolling on the ground and laughing out loud in midst of rather important ceremonies; princes acting discourteously — possibly, *human* moves but not ones that I’d consider possible from an actual person that’s been taught and trained how to lead others. Yes, there are certainly people with weak constitution but I’d find it hard to believe that the Prince of Yan would just roar out at his captor for pretty much no reason and then run around with a sword yelling “Ying Zheng must die”.

Possibly something was lost in the deleted scenes as I understand it lost quite a bit of stuff in it, but in no way is this comparable to something as wonderful as ‘Red Cliff’ or other movies of similar build — and when we come back to the Hero I originally mentioned, that again was compelling : the hero and the emperor both (lest your read on it was that the Emperor was the hero) had good stories which were well played and with intriguing captivating dialogue and soundtrack. Not so in this ‘The Emperor and The Assassin’ which might be closer to the historical truth but certainly at the expense of viewability.

 

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