Movie Review: House of Flying Daggers


House of Flying Daggers is a Wuxia and love tragedy, which features three characters in focus namely Jin, Mei and Liu.  What's better for me is that they are played by Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi and legendary actor Andy Lau (who I first saw in Magic Kitchen and later saw him next in Internal Affairs).  Also this film was in the memory of the late Anita Mui, who died of cervical cancer before she could be cast.  Now for the review.

The film had the Peony Pavilion where Mei sings a song which arguably was the theme of the whole film.  The song goes to describe of how a gorgeous woman then appears which causes ruin from a Han Dynasty poem.  Made me think that I would actually want to see a Wuxia inspired by the Trojan War someday.  In this film both Jin and Liu are both caught against each other, because of Mei's beauty which happens later in the film.  And the whole plot also revolves on the house of rebels as the Tang Dynasty is already in decline.  I really love that song sung by Zhang Ziyi, though her voice isn't exactly my type and I'm more inclined to seeing her kick ass.

There are complex mysteries which the film actually unfolds, which involves the House of Flying Daggers, the rebels and the plot between Jin, Liu and Mei.  For one, I was wondering of the relationships between Jin, Liu and Mei.  What also happened was that Jin falls for Mei and we discover that Liu also longed for Mei.  In the middle of that, we learn that there was an undercover mission, that Mei wasn't the daughter of the old leader, Liu was an undercover agent for the House of Flying Daggers and was meant to start a rebellion.

The story moves forward to the bizarre results of the love triangle.  Mei falls for Jin who she had just met and Liu is consumed by jealousy, he was yearning for her for some time.  The plot goes complicated especially when they are forced to choose between their feelings and duty.  I felt there was a contrast of love and lust, which Jin represents love and Liu represents lust.  And there were some utterly ridiculous scenes, expected in Wuxia cinema.

Mei gets stabbed and lives for some time?  Well, provided the blood didn't gush, okay.  But the fight between Jin and Liu went from autumn to winter, so did they pause in between?  I can't imagine that either.  And in the end, Mei shows up and removes the dagger from her heart, causing the arteries to burst and she throws it at Liu.  Jin holds Mei's corpse, singing the same old song from the beginning portraying the tragedy that happened.  The ending is hanging, leaving viewers to decide the outcome of the House of Flying Daggers.

My rating?  8/10.

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