Movie Review

The Promise – Dec 27, 2005

It was…. so predictably disappointing.. Cecilia Cheung was bad.. Just as I expected. Nicholas Tse made my eyes feel like falling off from too much rolling, as predicted. Story was damn lame, not that I thought it would be any better.

The show would have been much better in terms of asthetics if not for the excessive use of CGI. And by saying excessive, it’s by MY terms and not industry. In a Chen Kaige movie, excessive = a CGI petal falling for 1 min. THAT is excessive. I mean I love to watch sci-fi movies with lots of CGI effects. Hello? Look at Shrek. It was horrendously farnie! To the max! But this is a Chen Kaige movie! What’s CGI doing there? I’m a freaking purist I know but I can’t help it! This IS a Chen Kaige movie! I’ve been spoilt. The olden non-CGI days were better and he made better movies.. Like “Farewell My Concubine aka 霸王別姬”. THAT is asthetics.

Ok. I digress. Back to “The Promise”. Acting was generally bad. To be more exact, the acting of Nicholas & Cecilia was bad. The way Nic portrayed that rejected-by-a-girl-from-young-and-that-turned-him-a-little-mad guy was *ahem* terrible, and that is an understatement. Cecilia’s role’s perfect for her. The ‘perfect’ little concubine for the ‘perfect’ little vase. All she had to do was to be there looking vampy & pretty. Vampy she is. Pretty she’s not.

There were saviours of the show though. Hiroyuki Sanada, who played the General, was amazing! His acting was just right with just the correct amount of expression and emotion. Veteran really IS a vetaran. No wonder why Japanese serials are so much more popular. Their actors really can act.

But the one person I was most touched by, the ONLY one who made me shed tears… Liu Ye. OMFG! I totally couldn’t recognise him at all as the Ghost Wolf cos the character was disfigured in a fire and had his face covered most of the time. But but.. Amazing acting! His character forbade him to have much facial expressions and posture but his eyes… OMG his eyes told everything! All his regret, his bliss at redemption. It was all written in his expressive eyes! Now THAT’s what ruku calls ACTING!

Those vases should go learn something from all these world-class actors they always collaborate with. And not create bullshit news on the papers everyday. Go get some knowledge!