Hope everyone had a great Halloween. Today we take a look at the film “The Assassin”, a story about an Assassin who must kill a political leader as ordered by her master.
The story of the film is very slow paced but for some people that’s a good thing. Some may like that as it could help them keep up with the story while taking in all of the aesthetics. The director of this film, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, won best director at Festival de Cannes 2015.
If you want to skip the Spoilers then head down to The Positive List.
One of the single best things about this film is the production design. When you are in the royal chambers of Lord Tian everything looks stunningly beautiful. The golden set pieces are intricately designed and placed well in the frame so you can see all of the wall art and other physical pieces to see the true beauty of 7th century china. Also the outdoor scenes are well designed. When Nie Yinniang is at a small farm towards the end of the film it has a house built of sticks and a main house built with stone and while they don’t look pretty like the room of the lord they really invoke a feeling of rural poverty.
Another really great thing about this film is the cinematography. Everything in the frame is very well places and shows a massive amount without having characters explain things. One particular shot is when Lord Tian and His wife are talking about how the assassin has returned to kill him. What happens in this shot is there is a thing veil that is in front of the camera that creates this sort of ethereal romantic effect that makes the lord and lady look like they are more than human and are destined to be rulers. Another really great shot is when the dancers of a celebration are walking across a bridge and gossiping about their time with the lord.
The directing was also interesting. There are points in the film that the characters purely express what is going on with just actions. I believe in one part there was almost 10-15 minutes of no talking at all. Also some of the combat scenes was pretty well crafted. Particularly when the assassin saves someone who gets trapped in vines and throws an enemy solider to intercept an arrow.
The Assassin is a nice change from the normal major film releases that sometimes feel like they are created via a formula. If you are a fan of indie international films the Assassin might be for you.
Now on to The Positive List.
- The production design is amazing.
- The cinematography is outstanding.
- The directing was fresh.
What did you think of the film? Leave a comment below!
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