Thursday, May 5, 2011

Empire Of Silver (2009)

Beautiful to look at epic from China that is sort of the cinematic equivalent to a trashy summer read by way of a Russian novel.

Told in flashback, the film concerns a wealthy banking family many centuries old. There are four brothers. One is a kind deaf mute, another is a cruel master, the third is artistic and hated by the father, and the fourth is out to get control of the banks. Through circumstances best left to the soap opera, the hated third son is forced to choose between the life he wants and taking over the family business. Oh yeah, his step-mom is an ex-girlfriend and it's all coming to boil about the time of the Boxer Rebellion.

If you think I completely understood what happened you're mad. There are lots of plot lines, many of which seem to appear and disappear randomly. And with many plot lines comes many characters and somewhere along the way I got really lost. As I said at the opening it's like a trashy Russian novel.

I've seen this film twice now and I like it but I don't love it. There is so much going on that I'm feeling this great looking mess of a movie should have been longer or remained a novel. The ending left me going that's it? both times I saw it.

Then again I was never much for soap operas on a grand scale so I was probably the wrong audience for this. In all honesty the reason I watched it a second time is that it's a film that is getting a US release and I really wanted to give the film a fair shake and help it find its audience.

For me the best way to describe the audience for the film is those who really love soap operas or want to see a film that visually is a complete and total work of art.

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