Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Last Emperor (1987)

I first saw the Last Emperor when I was still a child. And like many movies you watch when you were a kid , you tend to realize that when you watch it again as an adult that you actually had no fucking idea what was going on. That is exactly what happened when I decided to re-watch it again. Regardless certain scenes were embedded on my mind and I was able to recount them but then they were just images and no substance to them from my kid's viewpoint.

To those of you who have not heard of this film , The last Emperor is well the story of the Last Emperor of imperial China . I have read a lot about that era in Chinese history because I'm interested with the history of the Soong Family- Republican China's closest version of the Kennedys. Although I seldom touched upon the story of Pu-Yi the last emperor. A man who was raised to be an absolute ruler only to be turned into nothing more than a figurehead and a prisoner in his own palace. He never actually tasted power , by the time he was old enough to rule , China was already a Republic and he was nothing more ,but a symbol of the past. His life is tragic no denying that , but it does make for one compelling and dramatic story. The movie captured it beautifully , everything from the amazing cinematography , the lovely but sorrowful soundtrack and the great performance delivered by the cast , added to this gem of cinema . Trust me, even if this movie is close to three hours long, it is very entertaining and you won't feel that it is that long. It's like reading a great novel, the hours just pass by and you can't wait to turn one page after another. This is a masterpiece , hey and deserved all the Academy Awards it won back in the day. And the ending was bittersweet but oh so wonderfully done...

Watch Trailer Here

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

John Lone as Puyi (adult)
Joan Chen as Wanrong
Peter O'Toole as Reginald Johnston
Ying Ruocheng as Detention Centre Governor
Victor Wong as Chen Baochen
Dennis Dun as Big Li
Ryuichi Sakamoto as Amakasu Masahiko
Maggie Han as Eastern Jewel (Yoshiko Kawashima)
Ric Young as Interrogator
Vivian Wu (credited as Wu Jun Mei) as Wenxiu
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Chang
Jade Go as Ar Mo
Fumihiko Ikeda as Colonel Yoshioka
Richard Vuu as Puyi (3 years old)
Tijger Tsou as Puyi (8 years old)
Wu Tao as Puyi (15 years old)
Fan Guang as Pujie (adult), Puyi's younger brother
Henry Kyi as Pujie (7 years old)
Alvin Riley III as Pujie (14 years old)
Lisa Lu as Empress Dowager Cixi
Hideo Takamatsu as General Hishikari Takashi
Hajime Tachibana as Japanese Translator
Basil Pao as Zaifeng, Prince Chun, Puyi's father
Henry O as Lord Chamberlain

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