ReviewWriter: Audrey KerWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Curse Of The Golden Flower”, “The Last Emperor”
The life and times of revered philosopher and teacher Confucius comes to light in this epic biographical film. Known as the "Greatest Sage Through The Ages", Confucius (also known as Kong Qiu, or Zhongni) lived in the 'Spring And Autumn Period', a time when feudal kingdoms ruled China. "Confucius" chronicles not just the highs and lows of the great teacher's life, but also his lasting influence on the kingdoms of China at the time.
Chow Yun-Fat's portrayal of this iconic figure is spot on, showing great charisma and presence. The way he carries himself and the way he talks effuses wisdom and composure, which is exactly what we know of Confucius obviously. Other worthy mentions include Ren Quan, (portraying Confucius' lead disciple, Yan Hui) who evokes so much emotion in Yan Hui's loyalty to Confucius; and Zhou Xun, who portrays Nan Zi, the concubine of the Wei kingdom. Although the character oozes sex appeal and beauty, her performance also shows the inner suffering of a scorned woman effortlessly.
Kudos is in order for the cinematography of the film. From the picturesque scenes of China, to the delicate close-ups of a meal preparation in Confucius' school, everything gelled seamlessly and effortlessly. Director Hu Mei certainly knows her way with the camera.
Although "Confucius" is essentially a biopic, we also get a glimpse of how China was like during the period. Assuming the details are accurate, one gets to witness how barbaric some clans and rituals can be, and why Confucius firmly believes in civility to govern a country. One scene that comes to mind was the burial of slaves alongside their deceased master. A definite disturbing point to ponder about.
With regards to the controversy surrounding the movie about Confucius being mildly attracted to Nan Zi, this writer doesn't see the relevance of it, as Confucius tactfully and artfully dodges the advances of Nan Zi in the particular scene. So, ardent followers of the man can breathe a sigh of relief!
Watch this if you're interested in the teachings of this great thinker, philosophy in general, or even Chow Yun-Fat. Although a little wordy at times, "Confucius" is far from boring, as there are also action and dramatic scenes interspersed throughout. On top of it all, it leaves an impression on ethics, civility, harmony and peace in a time of chaos and calamity.Cinema Online, 01 March 2010