The Flowers of War [Blu-ray]
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This movie effectively embraces and conveys so many human virtues and flaws in a way I think so many could relate to, and it is beautifully told. This movie is brutal at times and yet delves into the deepest parts of our souls.
The story itself is narrated from the viewpoint of a young Chinese girl involved in what happened. Without giving anything away the set-up is an American mortician is summoned to a Cathedral in Nanking in 1937 (the Rape of Nanking) he poses as a priest in charge of a group of convent schoolgirls, a group of Chinese prostitutes arrive, then the Japanese. No one here is perfect, nor is anyone evil, they are human and behave as such. Some die, all squabble, all want out of the city, sacrifices are made.
The acting is flawless on all parts, the story beautifully told. I guarantee, there will not be a dry eye in the house at the end!
To see a movie this good is a rare gift, embrace it!
Easily, one of the best movies I've ever seen. If you're a fan of Kurosawa, it's up there with his directing.
In this movie, based on the novel by Galing Yan ("Xiu Xiu, the Sent-Down Girl"), we have a fictionalized story in this chaotic setting. We are in a church compound where two groups seek shelter: the first, a dozen convent girls fleeing Japanese soldiers, and the second, a gaggle of "working girls" from a prominent brothel who throw their suitcases over the wall and demand sanctuary. A drunk but frightened Western mortician has come to prepare a priest for burial, and our story begins.....
These were the few actors I could pick out of the cast:
* Christian Bale ("The Dark Knight") is the mortician, boozy and rude; Bale seems to enjoy playing a crude American who laughs in the face of their predicament. He first puts on a priest's robe to avoid Japanese bullets, but by the time he has to bury some of their little group, he isn't quite so blithe.
* Paul Schneider ("Water for Elephants") in a cameo as another American fleeing the massacre, is incredulous that our hero is choosing to stay and try to help his charges escape the city.
* Ni Ni in her screen debut is the lovely self-appointed leader of the prostitutes. None of the women like the "big-nosed" Occidental, but a job is a job.
* Xinyi Zhang ("Love is not Blind") becomes, by default, the leader of the convent girls. She is observant, multi-lingual and expects her father to help them escape.Read more ›
This story does not try to overdo itself like many American Films that blow war movies out of proportion. It is not involved with an absurd love story, however hints at it. I cannot compare it to any movie I have seen because it is unlike any other I have viewed and really tugs at your heart strings. The musical score compliments the themes and atmosphere perfectly, with children's choir music to sad traditional Chinese music. The acting in this movie is great! Like many who see this movie, they probably will not identify any of the actors/actresses other than Christian Bale and everyone balances each other out perfectly. (Meaning it isn't one great actor surrounded by bad performances.) Character development in my opinion has the perfect amount. Not delving too far into one particular character, however leaving enough for you to feel connected with the individuals to "feel" for them as individuals.
I will not spoil this movie. I will tell you it is lengthy however it did not seem lengthy while watching it. (Sign of an enjoyable movie) For those who like a good survival movie, sprinkled with different forms of love, war themes, and change of heart stories, Definitely worth the watch!
Christian Bale finds refuge with a group of women in a church during Japan's rape of Nanking in 1937. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.
Is it any good?
When it comes to watching films, immediately my expectation changes upon hearing the cast and the director of a film. Therefore, using that logic I expected a film with Christian Bale by Yimou Zhang to be great...and I was not disappointed. The film is primarily shot in a church compound, so don't expect grand war scenes on the scale of `Hero'. Instead, we are treated to some top-notch acting and magnificent storytelling regarding one of the most awful periods of Chinese History. The film is startling in its unrelenting and unflinching accounts of brutality, and also beautiful in the courage displayed by the women with whom the film centres around. Considering the 146 minute run time, the pacing of the film does drag at points, but those who stick with it, should find themselves engrossed from its spectacular beginning, all the way through to its emotionally charged ending.
Although not a war film per se, the scenes which do feature battles are as realistic and intense as they come.
Did you know?
One challenging aspect in making the film, was what Zhang called the "very slow pace" of negotiation with the Chinese censorship authorities during the editing process.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Flowers of War is about sacrifice, judgement and love. It is inspired by a true story set in Nanking (aka Nanjing), China, in 1937. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
The Flowers of War was a much-anticipated epic film treatment of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, which starred Christian Bale. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Ahlstrom
This is an incredible, very powerful movie, inspired by true events during the Japanese occupation of China. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ron C.
It's Christian Bale meets the Chinese director and actors and let the magic begin. This story based on a true story, I'm told, is engaging from start to finish. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rich Holtzin
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