Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Farewell my concubine

A few weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to buy 'Farewell my concubine' on dvd in the Netherlands. My expectations of it were very high and after I finished it they survived. What makes this movie of such and outstanding class?

The director 'Chen Kaige' is famous for this movie, 'Emperor and the
Assasanin and Yellow Earth. Why he made something like 'the promise' is not really understandable because it doesn't reach the impact of his other movies.
Let's go back to farewell my concubine. The story deals completely about the opera, or rather said the 'Peking operea'. During the first scenes of this movie you will see how young children where trained to become an opera-star. Soon we will just follow two friends who become famous, one plays the emperor and one the concubine. It's completely normal for a boy to play a female character.

Because this boy (Leslie cheung) always plays as he woman he sort of gets into an personalitycrisis. He puts even make-up on when he is just walking the street, he totally becomes his character and falls in love with his friend (Zhang Fengyi). His friend starts a relationship with a girl (fantastic acting of Gong Li) and trouble starts in a fantastic love-triangle. Nothing like you would assume it would go!
On the background of this story we say the crazy times China is going through. Think of the rise of the Kwo Min Tang, the Japanese occupation and the cultural revolution.
The acting is very very strong and the costumes are beautifully made. I guess you have to get used to the music, cause most westerns don't really know Peking opera but after a while you will get absorped by it.
It's not the most funny or fast movie but just open your senses and enjoy this very special one.

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