Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Grandmaster

Movie Name: The Grandmaster
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Wong Kar Wai
Stars: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Jin Zhang, Darren Leung, Qingxiang Wang 
Genre: Action, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Director Wong Kar Wai's first full length feature after his american movie "My Blueberry Nights", is a biographical story focusing on legendary kung fu master, Ip Man. The film follows the story of the renowned master, as he gains his iconic status, through his hardship (and his family's) with the japanese occupation of China and his ultimate escape to Hong Kong (where he ultimately becomes the teacher of Bruce Lee).
Wong Kar Wai has made a name for himself since the early 90s with films that impressed both stylistically and aesthetically, but also for his renowned focus on shooting for quite some time, to get exactly what he wants from the performers and from each scene (his celebrated "In the Mood for Love" had a shooting time of 15 months). "The Grandmaster" though apparently distinct in tone from his previous films, ends up being a kung fun film that has a love story at it's core. The forbidden love of master Ip Man and Gong Er, gives the film it's beating heart, which is surrounded by the fantastically well choreographed kung fu scenes. It's a romantic film, stylized, but rewarding in terms of the characters it presents. The film also benefits from the incredible cinematography of Philippe Le Sourd, which gives the film an almost abstract tone, from the color, to the details it captures (and also the visual trademarks from the director, with slow motion sequences). A good film worth watching.