Confucius : The movie no one wants?

I had a little chance to catch Confucius (孔子) yesterday at the Megabox in Sanlitun and while i did not necessarily come out of it a better man (maybe the whole patience angle), it was better than expected!

Of course, most people are aware of the controversial decision to pull avatar out or the 2D screen in favor of the local production but more importantly, said local production has been slaughtered by foreigners and locals alike. I heard so much criticism of the movie that made it sound like one of the worst cinematographic products of recent memory.

The prominent Chinese blogger, Han Han (as translated by chinasmack) wrote that :

Finally, I want to say that the movie Confucius, whether it is from the perspective of cinematographic meaning, business profits, artistic merit, what it explores, its educational qualities, its historical accuracy, its entertainment value, its emotional resonance, etc., is completely unnecessary. It is a film that could be completely done without.

what? I mean come on, give me a break! I’ve seen plenty of movies in and out of China but I’m not going into that right now.

Maybe it was a byproduct of my low expectations but I can’t say I didn’t like the movie, at least from my limited perspective as a foreigner. I really wished I could actually follow the whole thing without needed the subtitles as there were times when I caught myself concentrating too much on what was written and forgetting the picture.

so, a few notes:

  • I liked that they showed more than just the philosophical side of Confucius. I’m not sure he waged war with such ability but but it was good to see that aspect of his life/personality emphasized. One could even argue it was too much of an emphasis
  • Too much politics, not enough philosophy. Then again, that is in many cases representative of the real situation in China even nowdays.
  • G.O.L.F: Gentlemen only, ladies forbidden! The one somewhat meaningful female part was more or less meaningless. The empress is assassinated without explanation as to who or why.
  • The was a sense of rushing through the story without tying loose ends… a cinematographic equivalent of the Chinese “deng deng deng” or etc..
  • Chow Yun-fat did a decent job with the acting.. I honestly like the guy much more so than I like Jackie Chan.
  • I don’t see what the fuss is all about either way
  • The movie will get a decent reaction from overseas markets. They’r hungry for anything China and Confucius could use some PR. It’s also nice for the general mass populi to get a bit of education and have their stereotypes replaced by others that are closer to reality but nevertheless stereotypes.

what did you think?