Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Red Cliff

Dir: John Woo

I got the impression that whom ever was paying for this film, had the distinct wish for something bigger and more impressive than any other recent historical war drama. I can imagine a board of directors sitting around looking at stills from 'Kingdom of Heaven' and telling each other that this was what they wanted, only much much bigger. Thats what 'Red Cliff' felt like to me at any rate, more a demonstration of the magnitude of China than of any actual history. The feeling wasn't helped by Woo's trademark acrobatic-heroics, which kind of made the whole film absurd. I wonder if this is because no one in China cares about history unless it has men who can fight armies single handedly, and when they feel like it; fly about in the air as if gravity were nothing but a western concept...

'Red Cliff' has its moments, but they are few and far between and it is the scale of the film that is its strength. If you like epic Asian theatre, then this may be a film for you. If you prefer historical accuracy, you will probably be disapointed.


Grimsby Mariner said...

Perhaps it's because the people are not allowed to know their history and can only form opinions based on what the government tell them. So fantasy becomes a means of telling a story without disturbing the party view.

moif said...

I did note some blatent communist proverbs along the way