Friday, November 02, 2007

Gratitude 11/2/07 - Hero

[image source]

I just watched Hero for the first time since it came out on DVD. When I first saw this film, I was caught up in the sword play and special effects and didn't really notice the integral overtones. Jet Li is excellent as Nameless, the assassin, so it was easy to be distracted.

Here is a plot summary from IMDB:

In feudal China, the King of Qin is waging a bloody campaign to conquer the entire land. He has been made a target of three dangerous assassins: spear-wielding Sky, and the lovers Broken Sword and Flying Snow. One day word comes that he has nothing left to fear; a prefect known only as Nameless has killed all three assassins. Nameless is called to the palace and asked to recount the tale of how he accomplished this amazing feat. After he tells his story, however, the King notices some flaws in it...

The story, at its heart, looks at the efforts of a king to unite his land and put an end to war and violence. His motives are good, even if he is brutal in executing them.

The king is working from an Amber, authoritarian, ethnocentric worldview. He wants to put an end to the feudal, fragmented nature of the China of about 2,000 years ago. The moral code he is working from is foreign to most of his subjects, but some people get it -- the ones we'd least expect as viewers of the film.

I highly recommend this film to anyone who has not already seen it. It's a good interpretation of the rise of the Amber meme in China and how it subdued the Red meme that was prevalent at the time.

1 comment:

Unknown said...


This is one of just a few times in my movie-going life when I've been thoroughly amazed and enchanted.

Thanks for reminding me; I will seek it immediately to see again. There was so much going on when I saw it in the theatre upon its initial US release, that I have not considered any of many layers of meaning HERO is sure to have.

The film is hypnotizing just on a superficial level.

-- Tom