Beginning of the Great Revival
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BEGINNING OF THE GREAT REVIVAL details the historic events surrounding the Chinese Revolution - the period from 1911 to 1921 when Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty and planted the roots of what has become modern-day China's Communist government.
The story charts the beginnings of the country's most influential first-generation leaders, including ambitious warlord Yuan Shikai (Chow Yun-Fat, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), who undertakes an attempt to revive the Chinese monarchy, Tsai Ao (Andy Lau, Infernal Affairs), the pro-Republic governor of Yunnan, Mao Zedong (Liu Ye, Curse of the Golden
Flower) and others.
A "slick and lavish historical epic" (Variety), BEGINNING OF THE GREAT REVIVAL stars over 150 top actors - including Daoming Chen (Hero, Aftershock) and Angela Yeung Wing (Love in Space) - in one of China's biggest blockbuster films of all time.
- In Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles
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Top customer reviews
film, it is no less a great film. I enjoy buying Asian films from Amazon because I am
able to buy what I want. This is an all star cast who shined. I advise anyone who
loves Woo as much as I do, buy it.
With a host of great Chinese stars, I imagined this film would be a great epic production with beautiful scenes and a driving plot. Sorry to say it, but this film truly missed the mark. Though the visuals were great, the film played like a string of commercials, very choppy and somewhat disconnected. Rather than focusing on main themes, the plot presents the years leading up to the Chinese Revolution as a series of small and large events with both major leaders and secondary figures getting their due notice. The result is a movie filled with sound bites of history, a story line of vignetts. The great actors in the film are forced to develop their characters with only a few lines and looks, and the viewer is unable to develop any empathy or connection with them or the events that are unfolding around them. The film never really seems to have a climax or main turning point. Though the May Fourth Movement gets a lot of screen time, it is not clear that the student revolt was the catalyst forming the communist party. When the party is formed, the scene is a half-lit room with tears and song and pales in dynamics when surrounded by assasinations, battles, and student revolts. This film simply lacks good story-telling.
The most memorable parts of the movie involve the characters Ku Hung-ming, Mao Tse-tung, and Pu Yi. Ku Hung-ming probably gets the best line in the film. He is a scholar with clear "old school" beliefs, and he dresses and acts the part. At a school assembly, he ascends the staqe to receive his academic assignment dressed in traditional Chinese apparel with a pigtail down his back. The students largely dressed in more western style clothing all find a laugh at his appearance. Ku addresses their reaction with the line "I wear my pigtail at the back of my head, those who laugh at me wear it in their hearts." A skilled, insightful, and polite retort. The scene with Mao is toward the end of the movie when he is addressing a worker's meeting. Mao deconstructs the Chinese symbol for "worker" as a combination of "man" and "heaven." He declares to the workers their value in the future. It is a moving moment giving the common man diginity and prominence. Pu Yi, the child emporer, makes an appearance in the film with clear borrowings from Bernado Bertolucci's The Last Emperor - Director's Cut, a movie I warmly recommend. However, it is a far less flattering portrayal than given by Bertolucci and would almost be comedic if not for a stong element of the pathetic.
Given the price of the film, I was expecting a few extras. There were none. Certainly some extra material with historical background wouldn't have hurt. I can't really recommend the film. However, if you are fond of Chinese history and with little else to do on a Saturday night, you could fill your time watching this.