I generally avoid watching Chinese martial arts films but watching this film gives me a different experience. Quite rarely we come across such artistic visuals in Chinese films. Director Zhang Yimou is famous Chinese film maker known for his use of color as narrative medium in his cinema. His debut film ‘Raise the Red Lantern’ was classic example in this case, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at Oscar and won many awards and wide critical acclaim in various Film Festivals around the globe. Influence of Masters like Tarkovsky, Malick and Kurosawa is clearly visible watching his films.
Cinematography of the film refreshingly brought the palette of rich, intense colors on screen.
It’s an epic martial art film, scripted with Chinese Royal Myths in economical duration of one and half hour starring Jet Li, Tony Leung and many other Chinese assembled actors. The story is narrated in flashback that how a nameless warrior (Jet Li) killed three assassins who sworn to kill the King of Qin, the first emperor of China. Intermittently we see the discussion between the king and the warrior.
Apart of Oscar winning ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’, this is the second Chinese film which remained at # 1 position in US box-office. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in 2003 and it was the third film of Director Zhang Yimou which got nomination in the same category. Till day it’s regarded as most expensive and top grossing Chinese film ever made.