Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The Assassin: Not the official review

THE guy next to me yawned once every 10 mins, and gulped down mineral water after each yawn. His girlfriend though, seemed to be attentive throughout the whole show. The guy in front of me was watching something else on YouTube after the 3rd "black out" scene (there were a few of such long pauses in the movie when the screen just silently blacked out). I heard a soft snore arising from a nearby seat.

This was The Assassin (which won the Best Director Award at Cannes). It was not all that bad. Yinniang (Shu Qi) was the Angel of Death --  moving effortlessly as the wind, tall and grim. Quiet as air too -- I read that she had just 10 lines in the entire movie. She was trained from young (by a nun) to kill -- equiped with the best of skills for this function. But Yinniang has a soft heart and did not complete what she was tasked to do.

What's the takeaway for me in this movie? That you may possess the best skills in the world, but they aren't of any use if they don't result in anything meaningful (for you). At the end of the movie, Yinniang managed to find good use for her martial arts -- more for preventing deaths than to kill.

One of the best scenes in the movie was in black and white -- when death was seen through the eyes of a dying man as he was shot by an arrow and fell from his horse -- the sky through a tangled mess of twigs, leaves and branches -- and the great rustling of leaves as the wind blows through them. At the moment of death, the senses are sharpened. And then, darkness. (Okay, this is just my interpretation and may not be the director's intent.)

Here's the written story (which is still very complicated to me) http://www.theworldofchinese.com/2013/09/tales-of-the-marvelous-part-3-nie-yinniang/


streetsing said...

Is this show in the cinemas already? Looking forward to see it, I like these artsy shows like Crouching tiger and hidden dragon, House of flying daggers and others. The action parts are well chereographed. There was once I fell asleep at a cinema at West Mall near where I stay at the beginning of the show, one if those rare occassion :)

Lo Tien Yin said...

Whoops, I thought I replied yesterday, but apparently not published... Yes, it is already being shown. Caught it at Suntec Golden Village. Not many action scenes though....I also fell asleep for a few minutes in the beginning :)

streetsing said...

Caught a glimpse of a short video clip on the giant wall outside Lido cinema tonight. Thought the scenery looked superb, however, if there are not too many action parts may give this show a miss. Thanks for the preview :)