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The Emperor and the Assassin

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The Emperor and the Assassin

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
161 minutes
performer:
Gong Li, Li Xuejian
director:
Chen Kaige
distributor:
Columbia Tri-Star
author:
Chen Kaige
genre:
Drama, Historical, Foreign Language

We gave it an A

Teeming with subtext and subterfuge, Farewell My Concubine director Chen Kaige’s sprawling tale The Emperor and the Assassin chronicles would-be Emperor Ying Zheng (Li Xuejian), who — driven by power lust and prophecy — strove to unite China’s warring seven kingdoms peacefully. The crack plan? Have his idealistic lover Zhao (Gong Li) spin a phony assassination plot to justify the conquest of his powerful rival. Things go shatteringly awry — and, as armies march and innocent blood flows, we are torn between an emperor’s vision and Lady Zhao’s feverish desire to stop him. The end result is fast-paced, stunning, and deeply affecting — epic, in the truest sense of the word. A

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