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I'm surprised by the bad reviews on IMDb. I think the problem is that a
film titled "The Assassin" happens to attract a certain type of
audience--people who are only interested in martial arts flicks, or who
walk in expecting an action-packed adrenaline ride. You might be
disappointed in this film, but I don't think this movie was meant for
A previous review mentioned the "depressed, stilted tones" of the
I don't know what you were expecting ... an assassin during the Tang
Dynasty to burst out into song about her inner anguish and emotional
turmoil? I watched an interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien, the director who
won the prestigious Best Director award at Cannes for this very film.
He used a tennis analogy to explain it perfectly, so I'm just going to
"If you watch the tennis greats like Federer or Nadal battling it out,
there's not much expression on their faces. The speed that they're
going at, the power in each exchange, there's no room for emotions."
The director, Hou, actually instructed Shu Qi (The Assassin) to tone
down her expressions. The crew filmed the fight sequences again, and
again, and again, until the actors were all bruised up and the fight
flowed naturally, by instinct. By this point, there was really no need
for dialogue or excessive expressions.
If you're an assassin fighting for your life, kill or be killed, are
you really going to be thinking "let me get my blue steel pout ready
for the camera"?
If you can get over the need for overly dramatic expositions and go
into a film knowing the main character only has approximately nine
spoken lines, and if you can enjoy a film for how starkly beautiful it
is.... this might be the film for you.
Tags for The Assassin Full Movie
, Qi Shu
, Satoshi Tsumabuki
, Yun Zhou
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