Crystal’s Shadow Review:
In Crystal’s Shadow, it seems hard to believe that the rector Zhang Yimou turned it are the first Wuxia-influenced historical action films to become his career, after a series of intimate and striking dramas. The double hit of “Hero” and “The House of Flying Daggers” (both released in 2004 in North America) reinvented as one of the greatest directors of chaos complex cinema, designed, illuminated and edited with the concern to The comparison of the clichés between the action images and the musicals are not sent only fresh, but deep. Zhang has never reached this summit of the global crossover. His family drama “Coming Home” and his remake of Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple”, titled “A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop” was more intriguing than fasnts, and his recent large budget international co-productions ( “The war flowers” and “The Great Wall” were more similar to ambitious financial projects than to artistic projects.

“Crystal’s Shadow “, a story of court intrigues interspersed with deafening duels and battle scenes of blind soldiers, is not exactly a return to form; Zhang’s first two action shots were so miraculous that it was hard to imagine them equal. But it is full of many remarkable images, especially in its central part, which will appeal to fans of palace intrigue and metaphorical violence.

Be warned that the first half hour of “Shadow” is a rather laborious installation: most characters enter and leave rooms and announce a comment, they are connected to each other, in terms of power dynamics and lineage. The king of pei (Zhang Kai), a very arrogant little bully, is still angry at a neighboring city belonging to his kingdom which is now under the control of a general named Yang (Hu Jun) who brought him back into a duel. . The king wants to recover the city, or less to install, so he proposes his sister Princess Qingping (Guan Xiaotong) as a wife for the son of Yang, to be insulted by a counter-offer wanting to make a concubine and present a ceremonial dagger in gift. To complicate matters further, the king’s commander (Chinese star Deng Chao) has just challenged the general duel without authorization from the hierarchy.

And you would not know it: the commander is not even really the commander. This is a double named Jing (also played by Chao) who is trained in ethics from his childhood to take over from the commander if the circumstances require it. The commander is put in hiding by a secret chamber after the victory, after being wounded in a serious injury he suffered in the duel with it, with the loss of the other city. The only person who knows the subterfuge is the commander’s wife, Madam (Sun Li), who naturally begins to develop her feelings for the double of her husband.

The content of the exhibition at the forefront is not fundamentally appalling: it takes violence on a large scale, the rest of the story and distribution allow a remarkable work of simplicity, stylization and psychology. More aesthetic, it does not begin to refer to the splendors that accompany, and it takes a wealth of characterization (especially among secondary actors) that the film, often thrown at the level of a video game shone, created, the fact not. not quite deliver. Akira Kurosawa – the Japanese filmmaker – “Kagemusha”, another historic military / action film with a double secret in her heart, was also more effective in making the discussions passive.)

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