The Last Emperor Reviews

  • Aug 28, 2019

    Very Good. Must Watch 219mins version.

    Very Good. Must Watch 219mins version.

  • Aug 18, 2019

    The only thing wrong with this movie is that it should not have been made in English. Besides that, it is filled with colour symbolism, amazing camera work with a story of epic proportions.

    The only thing wrong with this movie is that it should not have been made in English. Besides that, it is filled with colour symbolism, amazing camera work with a story of epic proportions.

  • Jul 13, 2019

    Slow pace, but a fascinating story and stunning visuals help sustain this odd and incredible story.

    Slow pace, but a fascinating story and stunning visuals help sustain this odd and incredible story.

  • May 27, 2019

    This film only made me hate Gandhi (1982) more as it manages to do everything that film couldn't do in less than three hours while also looking extraordinarily beautiful and focusing on an under-represented historical figure in western society. We view a fascinating period of history through the eyes of an almost entirely passive character and yet the director makes his struggle compelling as we witness how he is essentially imprisoned in the walls of the Forbidden City as a child and is incompetent living in the real world when he becomes a man. This is what grand, sweeping epics should be and who better than the masterful Bernardo Bertolucci to direct such an ambitious project. Pu Yi, John Lone, becomes the Emperor of China in 1908 but rules over only the Forbidden City as the rest of the nation is engaging in revolution. He feels increasingly trapped as he grows older with his only real confidant being his Scottish tutor Mr. Johnston, Peter O'Toole. He adopts two wives, Wanrong, Joan Chen, and Wenxiu, Wu Junmei, and dreams of becoming a British man as he attempts to reform the Forbidden City with disastrous consequences. When the invasion of Manchuria occurs he is removed from the throne and re-educated by the Japanese which eventually leads to him becoming content with his simple life and afraid of the symbols of his power in his youth. The real star of the film is the cinematography as the incomparable Vittorio Storaro, of Apocalypse Now (1979) and One from the Heart (1981) fame, lends his talents to capturing the fierce beauty of the Forbidden City. Every frame is packed with stunning moments and even scenes of an adult Pu Yi cutting his wrists appear impressive. He is able to make the audience see the location through Pu Yi's eyes as we are intimidated by the eunuchs who kowtow to him as a child and feel trapped by the restrictions of the city as he becomes a teenager. I often found myself gaping at just how fantastic the film looked and it was certainly deserving of all of the technical awards that it won. Beyond the technical elements of the film the way that Bertolucci and screenwriter Mark Peploe manage to tell this story is remarkable. We see the impact of being treated like an emperor instead of a human being on Pu Yi as he is not educated and therefore ill equipped to deal with a life absent of servants when he is removed from the throne. His discontent is obvious even while he is ruler as the influence of his tutor and his desperation to experience some of the simple pleasures that make a regular life so wonderful such as riding a bike wherever you desire can be seen. The conclusion of his story does not come with an angry, impassioned speech or a killing or a self-serious voiceover but rather with a mild acknowledgement of the fact that he was not cut out to live the life of an emperor. In terms of performances I wouldn't call any of the actors who play Pu Yi at various stages of his life fantastic but the film is more of a cinematographers or directors movie. O'Toole is reliably good in a supporting role but it's Chen who steals the show as the innocent young wife who becomes an opium addicted train wreck as an adult. She is disturbingly childish while also being an experienced courtesan during the love scene between herself and Pu Yi and this innocence is transferred to performance as the character who even as an adult refuses to accept that they are no longer armed with servants and respected. I understand why nobody received an Academy Award nomination for their performance but they each appear to know and understand their character's motivations and work with a great script. The 1987 Best Picture nominees are odd as I doubt that Moonstruck (1987) or Fatal Attraction (1987) would be nominated today but they are certainly more enjoyable than Black Panther (2018). I personally would have given Best Picture to The Last Emperor because I think it's an epic that goes beyond bringing the Wikipedia summary of a famous historical figure's life to the screen. This is a Best Picture winning epic that is worth seeing along with the terrific Gone with the Wind (1939) and Out of Africa (1985).

    This film only made me hate Gandhi (1982) more as it manages to do everything that film couldn't do in less than three hours while also looking extraordinarily beautiful and focusing on an under-represented historical figure in western society. We view a fascinating period of history through the eyes of an almost entirely passive character and yet the director makes his struggle compelling as we witness how he is essentially imprisoned in the walls of the Forbidden City as a child and is incompetent living in the real world when he becomes a man. This is what grand, sweeping epics should be and who better than the masterful Bernardo Bertolucci to direct such an ambitious project. Pu Yi, John Lone, becomes the Emperor of China in 1908 but rules over only the Forbidden City as the rest of the nation is engaging in revolution. He feels increasingly trapped as he grows older with his only real confidant being his Scottish tutor Mr. Johnston, Peter O'Toole. He adopts two wives, Wanrong, Joan Chen, and Wenxiu, Wu Junmei, and dreams of becoming a British man as he attempts to reform the Forbidden City with disastrous consequences. When the invasion of Manchuria occurs he is removed from the throne and re-educated by the Japanese which eventually leads to him becoming content with his simple life and afraid of the symbols of his power in his youth. The real star of the film is the cinematography as the incomparable Vittorio Storaro, of Apocalypse Now (1979) and One from the Heart (1981) fame, lends his talents to capturing the fierce beauty of the Forbidden City. Every frame is packed with stunning moments and even scenes of an adult Pu Yi cutting his wrists appear impressive. He is able to make the audience see the location through Pu Yi's eyes as we are intimidated by the eunuchs who kowtow to him as a child and feel trapped by the restrictions of the city as he becomes a teenager. I often found myself gaping at just how fantastic the film looked and it was certainly deserving of all of the technical awards that it won. Beyond the technical elements of the film the way that Bertolucci and screenwriter Mark Peploe manage to tell this story is remarkable. We see the impact of being treated like an emperor instead of a human being on Pu Yi as he is not educated and therefore ill equipped to deal with a life absent of servants when he is removed from the throne. His discontent is obvious even while he is ruler as the influence of his tutor and his desperation to experience some of the simple pleasures that make a regular life so wonderful such as riding a bike wherever you desire can be seen. The conclusion of his story does not come with an angry, impassioned speech or a killing or a self-serious voiceover but rather with a mild acknowledgement of the fact that he was not cut out to live the life of an emperor. In terms of performances I wouldn't call any of the actors who play Pu Yi at various stages of his life fantastic but the film is more of a cinematographers or directors movie. O'Toole is reliably good in a supporting role but it's Chen who steals the show as the innocent young wife who becomes an opium addicted train wreck as an adult. She is disturbingly childish while also being an experienced courtesan during the love scene between herself and Pu Yi and this innocence is transferred to performance as the character who even as an adult refuses to accept that they are no longer armed with servants and respected. I understand why nobody received an Academy Award nomination for their performance but they each appear to know and understand their character's motivations and work with a great script. The 1987 Best Picture nominees are odd as I doubt that Moonstruck (1987) or Fatal Attraction (1987) would be nominated today but they are certainly more enjoyable than Black Panther (2018). I personally would have given Best Picture to The Last Emperor because I think it's an epic that goes beyond bringing the Wikipedia summary of a famous historical figure's life to the screen. This is a Best Picture winning epic that is worth seeing along with the terrific Gone with the Wind (1939) and Out of Africa (1985).

  • May 03, 2019

    I think really highly of this movie the last emperor and I think it's supposed to be one of the greatest movie. It use three hours to show the path of China's last emperor's life road and in the other aspect, it shows the development of China from an old dynasty to a modern, or nearly modern country, due to the political enviorment of that time, I can say this movie is already beyond the limit of time background.

    I think really highly of this movie the last emperor and I think it's supposed to be one of the greatest movie. It use three hours to show the path of China's last emperor's life road and in the other aspect, it shows the development of China from an old dynasty to a modern, or nearly modern country, due to the political enviorment of that time, I can say this movie is already beyond the limit of time background.

  • Apr 09, 2019

    how could that cricket stay alive in a jar all those years? don't chinese crickets require any amount of care

    how could that cricket stay alive in a jar all those years? don't chinese crickets require any amount of care

  • Apr 04, 2019

    Visually stunning with its shot and costumes but it's extremely slow and dragged out.

    Visually stunning with its shot and costumes but it's extremely slow and dragged out.

  • Mar 04, 2019

    One of the best movies ever, I do not know how it's not better rated; Almost everything in this movie is good, the actors, the story, the soundtrack, the sound mix, the effects, everything, the only part I did not like was the fact that after the middle of the movie, the movie comesa to become a bit annoying, but still quite interesting and with a wonderful ending. Highly recommend.

    One of the best movies ever, I do not know how it's not better rated; Almost everything in this movie is good, the actors, the story, the soundtrack, the sound mix, the effects, everything, the only part I did not like was the fact that after the middle of the movie, the movie comesa to become a bit annoying, but still quite interesting and with a wonderful ending. Highly recommend.

  • Feb 01, 2019

    The best, GREATEST epic movie ever made!

    The best, GREATEST epic movie ever made!

  • Jan 14, 2019

    Wish this movie could be shot in Chinese, lost of a lot of substances when the fucking emperor of China speaks English. But overall, one of my favorites of all time

    Wish this movie could be shot in Chinese, lost of a lot of substances when the fucking emperor of China speaks English. But overall, one of my favorites of all time