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Red Cliff (2008) China
author:mikomi Gratitude for the great help:Susy Also known as: Red Cliff (Finland / International English title), Chek bik (Hong Kong Cantonese title), Red Cliff: Part I (Japan: English title), The Battle of Red Cliff (International (working title) English title) cost: $75 000 000 gains: $121 216 506 Director: John Woo Screenplay: John Woo, Khan Chan, Heyu Sheng and Cheng Kuo Based on the novel of Guanzhong Luo "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" Original Music by Tarô Iwashiro
Cast: Takeshi Kaneshiro as Zhuge Liang * Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Zhou Yu
Wei Zhao as Sun Shangxiang * Chen Chang as Sun Quan
Fengyi Zhang as Cao Cao * Jun Hu as Zhao Yun
Chiling Lin as Xiao Qiao * Shido Nakamura as Wa Long
Yong You as Liu Bei * Jia Song as Li Ji
Yong Hou as Lu Su * Chun Sun
Tong Jiang as Li Tong * Dawei Tong as Sun Shucai
Qingxiang Wang as Kong Rong
Plot: In 208, united forces of the two warlords Sun Quan and Liu Bei gained victory from the great in number army of Cao Cao.
Right at the beginning of the story told in the film we see Prime Minister Cao Cao in the Imperial Court of the Eastern Han Dynasty in Xuchang. He demands the authority to start campaigns against the warlords in southern China. He relies upon the statement that they are rebels against the dynasty. And when he founds that emperor is not sure of the campaign he recalls some circumstances under which young emperor came to power. So, by a strong word approaching the royalty, Cao Cao gets the command of the Imperial Army. All of the other events are more interesting to watch than to read.
Good about the movie:
Truly wonderful film Red Cliff is.
Beautiful landscapes, outstanding decorations, the photography is the work of art. And the colors are marvelous.
Battle scenes and the scenes of fight practice – natural and powerful. One can believe that it is real and anyone skilful enough can do that.
Very good acting:
Takeshi Kaneshiro: looks very natural in the role. He does not look as usual Takeshi. Again, his smile and eyes make you a believer for you can trust everything he says and everything he does. No wonder he looks so great with the doves (John Woo is famous for his love to doves and that film is not an exception, so he chose the best person to interact with these beautiful creatures). Tony Leung Chiu Wai: as always very attractive. But that is not the only thing which is good. Otherwise he would not have been called one of the best actors in Asia. But see it for yourselves. Wei Zhao: very interesting – her character is. Princess Sun Shangxiang is a very strong woman but that does not count in the men’s world so she does her best to change it. Sometimes does it funny. Always smiling and always childish, but always strong. Chen Chang: what you notice first is that this man is more than just a nominate ruler. But somehow he hides his true abilities because of his greater predecessors. Fengyi Zhang’s acting is interesting and yes – outstanding, especially at the beginning of the film: a warrior not only in spirit but in features; an arrogant leader. Jun Hu: is a real decoration of the film: true classic image of the warrior in combat. Chiling Lin: tenderness, beauty, manners and impression that you are watching the flower grow. Shido Nakamura: his acting is fresh. Not as if you are watching a new personality but the new school of acting. When actors of the different countries meet on one stage, it is easy to notice, that there is always a difference in performance. His acting, all that he represented in the film was more to a samurai, though gravely beautiful.
Chinese blues dialogue between two warriors:
That is not figurate expression to this film but that means a lot. There is a certain part of the film where modern is mixed with the old and that is done so fascinating, so breathtaking that you can remember it long after the movie is seen. Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang music dialogue: even if that part of the film is told thousand times, that is better once seen. You cannot call for a feeling you have during the episode only reading the story of it. You cannot feel the tremor in your fingers from the listening to the music in the moment if not having heard it. Once you watch and listen to the episode – something might come upon you – as if you were touched by the angel of music.
Bad about the movie:
The only thing I could say was a minus for the film is its being unfinished and the fact that you have to long for what shall be after the words "to be continued…"
Interesting facts about the film:
- That is the first Chinese film of John Woo since 1992.
- Yun-Fat Chow supposed to perform Zhou Yu, but refused playing and left the film just before the shootings started and the role was given to Tony Leung.
- Chinese Army helped in shootings providing 1000 soldiers to play extras.
- Cao Cao should have been performed by Ken Watanabe but the Chinese actor Fengyi Zhang was chosen for the role instead. The reason is that some Chinese fans objected Japanese actor playing the figure so important for Chinese history.
- The movie consists of two indivisible parts, so, if you had seen one you should expect to watch the second too. That is how the story divided for Asian market. American release version would be the full two parts film.
- One stunt-man (age 23) was killed during the shootings. That was in the episode with the ships.
- Famous Japanese rock singer Gackt said that he liked the film very much and that he wanted to act in this film too.