After watching The Banquet I don’t know how to start to describe my emotions while watching it. The movie had a very dramatic beginning with masked figures dressed in white dancing to a limp rhythm. The emperor in order to protect his throne sends assassins to kill off the crown prince (his nephew), he escapes and goes back to the palace. From here I was not at all angered by the emperor but already started to feel a sense of pity for the guy. He got a woman he loved who didn’t love him, and a hollow palace. More goes on and the crowned prince discovers the emperor killed his father, the late emperor. Qing Nu the daughter of the Grand Marshall is in love with the crowned prince and is more than willing to do anything to protect him ends up dying with the poisonous wine served originally to the emperor. Then the prince gets slashed by a poisonous sword of the Grand Marshall’s son who was trying to kill the empress. What troubled me the most was the fact of who really killed the Empress? She was stabbed by a flying sword yes flying. It was the crowned prince’s sword so some people are saying it was him. I have to disagree. The Grand Marshall’s son is not the type to lie about the poison that was on the sword and the prince would not lie about dying. I may be me, but I think it was either the spirit of the late emperor coming back to kill the empress because of all the evil that has happened in the palace.
Another interesting point from the movie was that Zhan Ziyi’s voice and Zhou Xun sounded almost identical to the point where I didn’t know who was talking if I hadn’t been paying attention.
The movie is still very worthwhile to watch. It is very slow so for those who tend to get impatient should skip it. There are a lot of artisitisc moments and is a slitghtly altered version of Hamlet. Even though it was an adaption of Hamlet it was still had a Chinese feel to it.