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Curse of the Golden Flower (2007)

Action & Adventure and Art House & International movie directed by Yimou Zhang

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So Much Drama Within One Family

  • Apr 23, 2007
  • by
The hardest thing to do with this film is explaining exactly what it's about. You have an emperor (Chow Yun-Fat) who has been away taking care of business but is now returning home for the chrysanthemum festival. You have an Empress who has been waiting for him to return home for even longer than he's been gone. His wife grew lonely and turned to her stepson for love among other things. Then there's her maternal sons, Prince Jai will be a great emperor and will stand by her side to the end. Prince Yu gets little love from either of his parents but he knows the little secret between his stepbrother and mother. There is so much that happens in the film that I can't tell anymore but most likely you'll put it together before it ends.

With so much going on and so many characters there is truly little room for character development. So many other elements cover for the lack of character development that I stopped caring about it by the middle of the movie. One major example is the story, which was predictable but was written so well that I still enjoyed how it was pieced and how it unfolded. As seen in the previews it's obvious that this movie has beautiful settings, maybe the most beautiful and colorful I've ever seen. I'm not the type to really pay attention to costumes but the costumes in this movie were out of this world. The settings and costumes are what you notice first when the film opens.

There aren't too many action scenes and this may actually get to some people but the story makes up for that too. The acting was all around great especially the newcomers. Chow Yun-Fat was great and he showed that he is an all around great actor and can play any roll. Of course Li Gong did a great job. I think that the action scenes that were in the movie were excellent but the CGI Zhang Yimou likes to use still gets on my nerves. It makes the fights look more fake than real but it wasn't used as much as it was in "House of Flying Daggers".

I read some reviews for this film right before I went out to rent it and found them to basically say this film is mediocre. I was tempted to just forget about this film because of those comments but they didn't really make any good points as to why I shouldn't see it. I still had to see this film mostly because of the amazing and colorful preview. After seeing this movie I understand why it might not have reached some peoples expectations. The problem with Curse of the Golden Flower is the previews definitely advertise the film to have a pretty good amount of action or to be action packed. This film being from the same director of "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers" I think a lot of action presented evenly throughout the film was expected. Though I understand this problem it was not one that I had with the film. You could say that it relies on its beautiful and I do mean beautiful settings but the story has some life in it as well. This is a great film and very much worth seeing but some people will love it and some will find flaws in it. It depends on how much of your imagination you let run with it.

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More Curse of the Golden Flower (20... reviews
review by . July 27, 2007
Historians give many reasons for the failings of a dictatorship style of government, such as suppression of freedom, lack of open communication, centralized decision-making, bureaucratic inertia, violent succession, etc... But there is one failing often left out of political science texts, but which is central to this movie. That is, in a dictatorship, there is no safe, established, and sanctioned way for those near the center of power to air their grievances against others at similar or higher …
review by . May 17, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
`Curse of the Flower' is a gorgeous masterpiece. Filled with the uniform pageantry of The Tang Dynasty (A.D. 928), the layers of beauty are unfolded to reveal the household of the Emperor (Yun Fat) whose dramatic crisis is intimately revealed amidst the busy hive of his kingdom. Treason, incest, and treachery against kin are concretely provided for a drama of Shakespearean proportions. The queen (Empress) of the hive is ailing with what the Emperor believes to be anemia. After ten years of ancient …
review by . April 16, 2007
Zhang's "Curse Of The Golden Flower" is a grandiose spectacle...a fable for the eyes and ears to enjoy. Unfortunately, for me, that's ALL this film is. It's like a beautiful sunset or a wonderful aroma. It is what it is, and offers little more.    Once you have watched this film you will automatically notice the lack of character development through out this story. You simply cannot tell such an intriguing story without letting the audience in and having them care deeply for …
review by . March 30, 2007
Yimou Zhang once again produces a work that retains his position as one of the master builders of contemporary cinema. His ability to capture an intricate story historically based in a setting of splendor is up there with the great filmmakers. CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER is no exception.    The time of the story is the Tang Dynasty, one of the more corrupt and cruel periods in Chinese history. Emperor Ping (Chow Yun Fat) has married a princess from the neighboring province, becoming …
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Keith A Jones ()
Member Since: Aug 15, 2010
Last Login: Sep 9, 2013 04:22 PM UTC
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Curse of the Golden Flower, a fictionalized historical glimpse into the brutally complicated politics of Emperor Ping's (Chow Yun Fat) reign during the Tang Dynasty, shows the viewer just how far a megalomaniac must go to gain and retain power in medieval China. Lavish sets, massive ceremonial displays, and perversely fascinating battle scenes impress similarly to the special effects Americans have come to love and expect from Chinese action films like Zhang Yimou's previousHouse of Flying DaggersandCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. An intricate plot involving the Emperor's wife, Empress Phoenix (Gong Li) and their three sons, Crown Prince Xiang, Prince Jie, and Prince Cheng, most closely follows the Empress's secret plan to force abdication upon her corrupt husband as revenge for his slowly poisoning her with Black Fungus tea. Opening on the eve of the Chysanthemum Festival, 928 A.D., the Empress obsessively embroiders gold chysanthemums to adorn her army's uniforms while hatching plans with Jai to overthrow the Crown Prince for control of the throne. Meanwhile, a side plot develops as the Emperor's ex-wife and mother to Crown Prince Yu reemerges as Yu's lover. By the time the Festival occurs, family members are pitted against each other in aKing Lear-ian web of lies that can only result in demise. The most sophisticated narrative aspect ofCurse of the Golden Floweris that as the royal family crumbles, the Emperor's death grip on China remains ...
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Director: Yimou Zhang
Genre: Foreign
Screen Writer: Yimou Zhang, Yu Cao
DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
Runtime: 114 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
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