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Film Review

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Honor of Chinese culture in film.
The Hero is a Chinese film based in Hong Kong China, and it is entirely a wuxia film. It is a martial art film, and it depicts the Chinese culture and unity. The king in the film is trying to bring together warring kingdoms and also come up with a standard Chinese language among the variations. There is a conflict depicted in the film that of who to trust. The king is almost lured to believe an assassin who finally forgives the king. There is an excellent use of flashbacks in the film hence making it a narration film as most of the stories narrated, and flashback is used. Most of the fights shown in flashbacks where nameless and the king of Qin are conversing at the palace. Hero is filming that entirely depicts the ancient Chinese culture and uses visual designs in a relevant way. The film uses the fascist aesthetics that represents authoritarianism.
The film represents the Chinese culture in a number of ways. It does not concentrate on the multiculturalism as other Chinese films could do. First, the movie shows the Chinese culture in the form of leadership. At the beginning of the film, the narrator tells of ancient China being a kingdom ruled by kings, and initially it was made up of seven kingdoms. The film also shows the ancient Chinese leadership to have had many wars. It was during this wars that the parents of nameless (jet li) were killed making him come for revenge in the palace. The evidence is when the king asks nameless why he had the plot to kill him. It is after he had realised that nameless had not for sure killed sky and broken sword, as he had narrated to the king in order to secure his trust. The film shows the power of politics in a kingdom as part of the culture. As depicted in the movie, the people have influence to the ruler. When nameless does not kill the king, the people and the king’s advisers’ want nameless to be killed. (Chan, E, 2004)
Apart from the culture of leadership, defence and offense for the kingdoms is shown. It is depicted through the culture of martial art. The martial art culture is combined with the military skills in most of the fights in the film. The martial art skills are clear in the flashback fight between sky and the royal guards of Qin. There is also an extremely overwhelming martial art fight between sky and nameless in that they are even. The martial arts also used in the fight between the king and broken sword where broken sword overpowers the king but does not kill him. Nameless also used martial art skills to warn the king who earned him his death. The Martial art culture in the film is awesome and is sometimes fused with the military skills for example in the king's palace where the guards use arrows to kill nameless.
Gender stereotypes are common in most cultures. The hero film does not have gender stereotypes as it uses both genders equally. The film also shows the female and male genders are equal as it shows. The evidence is in the martial arts especially when flying snow and broken sword engage in a fight, and they are even. But broken sword gives in and lets the sword stab himself from flying snow. The evidence is also when the King narrates to nameless that the two had earlier attacked them and hacked their way through the army of men though they failed to kill the king.
In showing the gender equality, the film introduces another theme of gender and romance. Gender and romance depicted in the film are great as there are love birds in it. Flying snow and broken sword are two assassins who apparently love each other. And at the end of the film we see them die by the same sword although nameless reports that they have had a strenuous relationship for the past three years. There is also romance in the film where broken sword makes love to moon in order to make flying snow angry. The film does not restrain any gender stereotypes but reinforces women to have equal opportunities as men as it shows them to be equal. In representing the duties of people, the men and women are equally shown to have the same abilities. Thus in terms of gender and stereotyping, the movie does a good deal in showing both genders to be equal.
From culture, the film applies visual designs that are enormous. The film uses good visual designs, music and effective landscapes. The colour themes that used in the film are outstanding and complement the flashbacks applied in most parts of the film. One of the most evident parts of the film that uses visual designs is the flashback to the calligraphy school where Broken Sword is the calligraphy master. In this state, everyone is wearing red and visual effects here complement the flashback by the fact that the Qin’s men later attack killing a lot of people. The visual designs used in the strange torches that are burning in the king’s palace complement the film. The flames burn vividly, and they help to complement the cool atmosphere in the palace.
Visual designs include the used colour designs in the film. Colour designs used in the king’s version of the story are great especially where the king is narrating that nameless did not kill the two as he purports to have done. In the kings version, everyone is wearing blue which is a clear distinction between name less’s flashbacks and the king’s flashbacks. In the truth version of the story, everyone wears white, and this also helps to distinguish between the three different versions of the story, the flashbacks and the true story. The film, therefore, ensures continuity and flow in the movie among the audience, and there is no confusion. There is also the vivid use of visual designs when the spy sent by flying snow waves the yellow cloth and the background is complementing. (Chan, E, 2004)
The film uses music emphatically and soundtracks in the events. The soundtracks used during the martial arts are effective and help the audience to feel like they are part of the film. Music is also applied well for instance during the flashback fight between nameless and sky. The blind man helps them to fight in their minds, and they only resume the fighting after the harp that the blind man was playing stopped. Thus, music is efficiently used in the film. (Zhang, 2003)
The landscapes used in the film are also great and they complement the used visual designs. The palace can be described as well planned and arranged with the king’s guards positioned well. The landscape during the flashback fights is also amazing. For example, during the fight between broken sword and nameless they fly over the lake as they fight which is a beautiful landscape though it is too imaginary because it is practically impossible. The scene where the kings guards are beaten by Sky when they attempt to arrest him is also fascinating as it shows a beautiful hall and spacious enough for the fights. The landscapes used are good, rigid, vast, and even the landscape where flying snow and broken sword fight and die are good and also the colours used are great. (Chan, E, 2004)
The film favours unity and that gives it its uniqueness in the culture. The film appeals uniqueness in the fact that the starring despite not fulfilling the desire for revenge comes out as a hero and receives a heroic burial. It is contradictory to the other Chinese films where one becomes a hero only after fulfilling revenge of a past Vice done to them. The film also shows the moral standards of the people and how they strictly follow the set rules and laws. These stands shown when nameless is made to face death because of attempting to kill the king though the king was reluctant in killing him. (Zhang, 2010)
Generally, the film is an effective display of the Chinese culture and uses effective cinematography. Hero film, therefore, is a well-directed and staged film that shows the authoritarianism of the Chinese. Good visual skills and music used in the film makes it appealing to watch to the audience. There is also the incorporation of gender and romance that is good for the society and the audience at large. Hero film also has used effective characters and show the intended feeling that the director wishes to pass.

References
Chan, E. 'Zhang Yimou's Hero and the Temptations of Fascism', Film
International, (2004), 2:8, pp. 14-23.
Yīngxióng, Mandarin, and Feng Li. "Hero (2002 film)." The Jet Li Handbook-Everything you need to know about Jet Li (2013): 166.

Zhang, Yingjin. Cinema, space, and polylocality in a globalizing China. University of Hawaii Press, 2010.

Zhang, Yingjin. Screening China: Critical interventions, cinematic reconfigurations, and the transnational imaginary in contemporary Chinese cinema. Vol. 92. Center for Chinese Studies, The Universi, 2002.

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