Heroic dichotomies

For those who were enthralled by Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Ying Xiong (Hero) is likely to be a must-see. We were certainly engrossed, with disbelief quickly suspended in the face of such fine cinematography.

The film made an interesting juxtaposition with the trailer for Alexander that preceded it. That film’s tagline (The Greatest Legend Of All Was Real) not only drawing questions from me as to how “great” a man who destroyed Persepolis could be considered, but also as to Hollywood’s propensity for either/or dichotomies and the need for a “greatest” hero.

By contrast with the heavy-handed epic making of so much recent cinema, Hero’s grand vistas and sweeping crowd shots display a light-hand and an elegance that allows the viewer’s awe to breath. And it’s introductory disclaimer that in any war there are heroes on both sides allows the viewer to enjoy the story and sympathise with the characters without being drawn into questions of their true historical stature.

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  1. I saw that earlier this year, when a housemate got it on DVD from China. It is indeed a very fine film, with great visual play and fine use of motif…plus it’s allways fun to watch something subtitled in mandarin, dubbing’s just a pain in the bottom…