Ju Dou (1990)
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Critic Reviews for Ju Dou
The picture is, indeed, as deliriously enjoyable as it sounds, but with the added dimension of age-old tradition forcing the characters into roles they don't want to play.
Its dark wit and fiery pace ensure that even the occasional overheated moments carry conviction.
The film appealed to me for two reasons. First, because of its unabashed, lurid melodrama, in which the days are filled with scheming and the nights with passion and violence. Second, because of its visual beauty.
Powerful, poignant, and visually stunning, Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou was deservedly nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Audience Reviews for Ju Dou
"Ju Dou" tells the story of love between two people at the mercy of a cruel uncle and husband. Yang Tianqing (Li Baotian) is working for his uncle Yang Jinshan (Li Wei) at his textile mill where he dyes fabric. Tianqing learns that his uncle has purchased a new wife, this is his third, he had beat the other two to death for not being able to produce him a boy. It's no fault of these women, he's impotent and takes this anger out on these women. The new wife, and the new aunt to Tianqing, is a beautiful young woman named Ju Dou (Li Gong). Tiaqing becomes smitten with her, spying on her as she undresses and bathes. Soon, the two become lovers and she becomes pregnant with his son. Jinshan believes the kid is his until he becomes paralyzed and is forced to rely upon the two to take care of him. After several failed attempts at trying to kill the kid, he is put in a barrell high above the ground. He eventually comes to love the kid as his son when the kid accidentily refers to him as father setting about a chain of events that will end tragic. Beautifully filmed by Zhang Yimou on three-strip Technicolor. It has an aged feeling in it's beauty, but magnificently show it's yellows, golds and reds in such exuberance.
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!
My first encounter with Zhang Yimou and it left a lasting impression. A must see for sure.
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