Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
Critic Consensus: Melodrama, swordplay, and CG armies -- fans of martial arts epic will get what they bargain for, though the baroque art direction can be both mesmerizing and exhaustively excessive.
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as Imperial Doctor
as Prince Jai
as Crown Prince Wan
as Imperial Doctor's Wife
as Jang Chan
as Prince Yu
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Critic Reviews for Curse of the Golden Flower
To put a point to it, the lavish period costumes, operatic mise-en-scène and ceremonial grandeur of Curse of the Golden Flower clashes fatally with the nuanced nastiness of modern marital discord.
For all the swordplay and martial-arts fisticuffs, Curse is its most delirious as a lavish argument for the soap opera's roots in Greek tragedy.
This spectacularly decorated movie offers the enjoyment of watching Zhang chronicle the lives of one very nutty family. It also allows Zhang to load every inch of the screen with images so full that you half expect them to collapse under their own weight.
Curse is straightforward and solemn, lacking not for spectacle but for humor and a humanizing touch.
Make no mistake, all is epic, violent, bloody madness once the director hits his stride, and fans of Zhang's work will not want to miss Curse of the Golden Flower. But brush strokes are amiss here.
Audience Reviews for Curse of the Golden Flower
Sumptuous sensory spectacle in every detail from Gong Li's hair ornaments to the gurgle of the medicine pouring into the gilded cup. The Oedipal plot, adapted from Thunderstorm, kept things twisted and interesting but battle scenes were redundant and I lost interest. The fingernail guards the Empress wore might have been anachronistic, as those were fashionable in the late Qing dynasty but this movie was set in the 10th century around the Tang dynasty.
Shakespeare would have been proud. The mix of incest, murder, betrayal and tyranny easily could have been part of one of his dramas. In this historical Chinese piece it's portrayed in the most visually pleasing style imaginable. The palaces, clothes, props are full of details and colors. The feast for the eyes never manages to make you care for anything that's going on, sadly. The dysfunctional family's story is way too complicated and unlikable for that. There isn't even all that much action until the showdown suddenly gets a lot more epic than expected. Only the assassin attacks are really awesome. Other than that: visually pleasing but ultimately unimportant.
Okay, right off the bat, A++++ for color. No lie there. Like, Hands Down winner there. Along with costume, set design, and props. FAN-tastic. I think where this story lost it was the overall pacing and story. The first hour had some small nice fight scenes and then lots and lots of talk. And the ending was quite bloody. However I feel as though what happened here was there may have been some back story that was cut. And that's never good. Other takes and scenes were quite long. Too long, really. Still, it gets 3 stars for color alone. Another star because I like Yun-Fat Chow and Li Gong. And keep in mind, if you are in dire need for a visual LSD party for your eyes.... WATCH THIS!!
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