Ju Dou

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 18

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,280
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Movie Info

Zhang Yimou's second feature is set in China during the 1920s. Gong Li stars as the title character, a young woman whom the wealthy, aging Yang Jin-shan (Li Wei) buys to be his bride. Due to his own impotence, Ju Dou cannot bear the son Yang Jin-shan desperately wants; as a result, their marriage becomes violent and bitterly unhappy, forcing the girl into the arms of the old man's nephew Yang Tian-qing (Li Bao-tian).

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Cast

Li Gong
as Ju Dou
Li Wei
as Yang Jin-shan
Zhen Jian
as Yang Tian-bai (as a youth)
Baotian Li
as Yang Tian-qing
Zheng Jian
as Yang Tian-bai (youth)
Zheng Ji-an
as Yang Tian-bai (as a youth)

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Critic Reviews for Ju Dou

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for Ju Dou

  • May 11, 2016
    "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.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2010
    My first encounter with Zhang Yimou and it left a lasting impression. A must see for sure.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 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.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2009
    A tragic love story set against the colorful backdrop of a Chinese dye mill. The fantastic cinematography makes <i>Ju-Dou</i> a treat for the eyes even though the story is heartbreaking and sad. Highly recommended!
    Randy T Super Reviewer

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