Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Curse of the Golden Ego

Chow Yun Fat brilliantly plays the ruthlessly tyrannical, late Tang Emperor Ping, in Zhang Yimou's The Curse of the Golden Flower, which I saw recently. The spectacle is incredible but one is left cold at the end of the film - perhaps this was Zhang's intention - to show how empty egoism is. The likable characters could have been explored in more depth so that they could have functioned more as a contrast to the nastiness.
Ping shows how much damage just a single egomaniac in power can wreak, not only on his country, but on those closest to him.

I Don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet but basically everyone dies, except for Ping and a few court officials and servants left to sweep up the gore and millions of yuan worth of crushed chrysanthemums, at the end. A bit like Hamlet really.

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