Ju Dou Reviews

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½ March 8, 2015
Seductive and symphonic, Ju Dou is a wonderful film contemplating forbidden "love" in 20's China.
½ February 14, 2015
Extrêmement lent mais jamais ennuyeux, Ju Dou vaut surtout pour son ouverture et la manière fluide de Zhang Yimou pour installer ses personnages et son intrigue et pour ses 20 dernières minutes, déchirantes et visuellement splendides. Gong Li, Li Wei et Zheng Ji'An sont particulièrement excellents. Dommage alors que le ventre mou du film soit si... mou.
½ October 17, 2013
A sad, haunting, and a beautiful film.
April 3, 2013
This was more melodramatic than I expected, but the over-the-top story was matched by the intense imagery, color, and themes. Described by some as a morality play, it shows us how freedom of choice has undesired consequences, especially in a time and culture where life is dictated more than lived. The makeshift transportation for a paralyzed character was especially creepy; that was balanced by the ingenuity of the mechanics behind the 1920s dye mill.
July 17, 2012
When they call this a tragedy, they mean it! Just a horrible, horrible. tragic story. I enjoyed it for the most part, but there were things that bothered me. Seems they should have been able to make Jin-Shan look like an accident and solved most of their problems early on. I kept yelling "idiots" at the screen.
October 7, 2011
recommended by criticker......93 rating.
February 15, 2011
Not bad. Must see if studying Chinese film or Zhang Yimou
Super Reviewer
January 18, 2009
A tragic love story set against the colorful backdrop of a Chinese dye mill. The fantastic cinematography makes Ju-Dou a treat for the eyes even though the story is heartbreaking and sad. Highly recommended!
½ December 14, 2010
So I didn't love the story but I can't deny that director Zhang Yimou is a master of his art and Gong Li a truly tremendous actress.

Ju Dou (Gong Li) is a young woman sold into a marriage with a barren and abusive man. However when she falls pregnant with her adopted nephew's child, their world becomes filled with lust, deceit and a seriously messed up little kid. With a story like that, it's no surprise that the film falls prey to an excess of overly dramatic moments, and while it often works, there were a number of moments where I found myself more bemused than emotionally affected. The love story is sincere, and the dynamic between the three leads largely successful, however the idea of falling in love with someone outside your highly abusive marriage as a bad thing is too loud and plain bad ethics. The fact that this film was banned in China for supposedly prompting women to rebel against their husbands seems highly ironic when the moral of the story seems to be that any relationship built on rebellion and lies is doomed to end in death and misery.

Gong Li leads the cast with a stirring performance that is entirely in keeping with the film's melodramatic tone. The fact that many of those high-drama moments work is largely down to Li who plays the downtrodden woman so well (see also Raise The Red Lantern, Curse of the Golden Flower). Here she evolves from the silent victim to the desperate seductress to a woman in love, and plays each of these characters with vigour and great power.

Around Li and her co-stars, director Zhang Yimou has created a visually impressive environment. The draped cloth of various colours makes for some nifty tricks as Yimou has clearly perfected the art of letting them fall through the air into pools of water in the most sensual and artistic of ways. Similarly he quite literally plays with fire, allowing the flames to lick the screen in several scenes, adding to the sense of danger in a most aesthetically pleasing way.

Thus while Ju Dou is no discredit to Yimou's impressive reputation, the film's questionable moral overtones prevent it from having the same effect as his other works. However Gong Li and the beautiful visuals still hold much for audiences to marvel at.
½ October 27, 2010
The brutal, impotent and miserly master has just bought his 3rd wife after the first two did not give him heirs. Ju Dou is a beautiful, well-built young woman who the master beats and tortures every night. The other person living in the household, but sleeping in the workshop of the dyeing shed isTianqing who is in his 40's, never been married and who has been working with the master since he was orphaned at a young age. Ju Dou asks Tianqing to rescue her, then seduces him...This is a beautifully filmed, but unrelentingly grim and melodramatic movie which could conceivably lead you to commit suicide by the time it is finished. :-) Four and a half stars.
February 4, 2006
wow, what a dark drama, this was an intensely intriguing story. if you haven't seen a real non-action asian film, this or Raise the Red Lantern might be a good start because they're dark and Kubrickian.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2008
nominated for best foreign film at oscars
July 16, 2009
Ju Dou is reminiscent of Godfather and Oedipus Rex alike. Brilliantly written, it uses very little dialogue to tell a complicated and layered story. As the screenwriting mantra goes, Ju Dou shows, not tells, the story. The emotions seem real up until it's dark end. This film is one that has not been seen by nearly enough in the American audience.
Super Reviewer
April 8, 2009
The story is both unpleasant and yet interesting. Few of the characters really connected with me. Ju Dou, becomes the object of sympathy right from the start. Her life is horrible, and even the relationship with Tianqing ultimately strikes me as unsatisfying, because frankly Tianqing was a wimp. The character of Tianqinq comes across as childish and immature and afraid of everything. In a way, the most powerful character was the adolescent Tianbai, Ju Dou's son. He only appears in the last part of the movie, but he comes across as completely hateful and totally unemotional. It all leads up to a tragic and confusing ending.

The love scenes and violence are visual limited, because of Chinese limitations,
I guess, But all in all Ju Dou is a stunning film and worth to watch.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2009
No thankyou - Not interested.
May 12, 2008
The images are absolutely delightful. I was immediately blown away by the startling clarity and the rich layers of the colour, which really added to the dimension of this story, where erotica and disorder blend into one synchronized track and where everyone is unable to get what he wants, resulting in a tragedy proportionate to the Greek's tales.
April 17, 2008
If I knew Chinese I would like the movie better. But I am a fan now of Li Gong.
January 20, 2008
Another controversial collaboration between Yimou and Li. Banned in China, this sensual and eloquent film helped introduced me to Asian cinema. The colors are staggeringly beautiful.
December 1, 2007
i think this movie recalls forbidden faith into a trustees
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