Manjianghong   2023   China Full River Red
Full River Red Image Cover
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Director:Yimou Zhang
Studio:Huanxi Media Group, Yixie (Qingdao) Film, Beijing Lifeng Culture Development
Writer:Yu Chen, Yimou Zhang
IMDb Rating:6.5 (2,641 votes)
Awards:18 wins & 9 nominations
Genre:Comedy, Drama, History
Duration:159 min
Languages:Mandarin, Sign Languages
Yimou Zhang  ...  (Director)
Yu Chen, Yimou Zhang  ...  (Writer)
Teng Shen  ...  Zhang Da
Jackson Yee  ...  Sun Jun
Yi Zhang  ...  He Li
Jiayin Lei  ...  Qin Hui
Yunpeng Yue  ...  Wu Yichun
Jiayi Wang  ...  Yao Qin
Binlong Pan  ...  Ding Sanwang
Ailei Yu  ...  Liu Xi
Jingfei Guo  ...  Wang Biao
Hao Ou  ...  Zheng Wan
Xiang Wei  ...  Ha Deng
Chi Zhang  ...  Chen Liang
Yan Huang  ...  Hu Yong
Jingya Xu  ...  Lan Yu
Pengyu Jiang  ...  Lü Zhu
Boyang Lin  ...  Liu Yan
Fan Fei  ...  Qing Mei
Ren Sinuo  ...  Tao Yatou
Hong Han  ...  Composer
Xiaoding Zhao  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: A Zhang Yimou comedy LOL

This was four stars, maybe more until the final act. The least likeable of the many protagonists sheds a tear and starts whisper-acting. I hate whisper-acting

I started FF'ing but checked in enough to see they recite the Full River Red poem "that has been passed on from generation to generation [and] to this day almost everyone in China can recite [the] poem" ... but I could care less about it or any of the people left standing. Once the two ass-kicking deaf/mute maids are gone it's over

What a waste. It works as a comedy, and as a constantly evolving twist-loaded mystery, literally scene to scene, but the last act ... I don't know what the goal was there

About 30 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour run time is spent watching people speed walk from point A to point B accompanied by music I would describe as Johnny Rotten screaming nonsense to a hand drummer. I think it's traditional Chinese music but it's avante punk to me. Since I don't understand Mandarin it's gibberish (which I like) but I had to wonder if it was actually a Greek Chorus moving the narrative along. What a difference that would make in one's experience of the film. I'll never know

Summary: A pawn tries to get rid of a traitorous minister, Qin Hui, when he leads an army to the border for talks with a Jurchen mission.

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