Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Grandmaster (3/5, Regular)

The new film from Hong-Kong director Wong Kar-Wai is an energetic journey to the world of Kung-Fu set in the China of 1930s and 1940s. This is the tale of Ip Man, Bruce Lee's martial arts trainer. 

The films starts in China in the 1930s. Martial arts Grandmaster from northern China, Gong Yutian (Qingxian Wang) is retiring and he is looking for a new successor. Young and promising fighter Ip Man (Tony Leung) is the one chosen. In his way to become the Grandmaster, he meets Yutian's daughter Gong Er (the beautiful Zhang Ziyi) and they both fall in love.However this impossible love will be affected by the Japanese invasion and their fate will change forever. 

This is not a masterpiece from Wong Kar-Wai. The incredible beauty from the film comes from the cinematography: every shot is a painting waiting to be admired. Instead on focusing on this sad love story, Wai decided to put forward the filming of combat scenes, body movements (choreographed by veteran Yuen Woo-Ping) and the sets. It is an homage to Kung-Fu but also to Asian Kung-Fu movies and Wai does it brilliantly. 
A shame that the emotional power of the story is dismissed. We are not affected by the fate of the main characters even if their acting is worth to be praised for. We suspect that the Western Version (100 min. length vs 130 min. length from the Chinese version ) has cut many parts of the story. Why? It is a mystery.
We know that Wong Kar-Wai can do masterpieces (2046, In the Mood for Love) so we are surprised to see that we are indifferent to the story. Nevertheless we cannot only but applause the beauty of the images. There is so much dedication that the film is worth watching for it. You will never see Kung-Fu fights like these filmed like a dance, you will never see slow motions like Wai knows to do. 



1 comment:

  1. I think it deserved at least a 3,5! It was a bit more than regular!


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