It’s on ‘The List’, it’s had a decent number of people online saying that it’s a masterpiece of Asian Cinema – but personally I think it’s a steaming pile of shite. I’m talking about the movie Ashes of Time a 2008 film directed by Wong Kar-wai.
To sum it up – the movie is set during an ancient period of China about a man named Ouyang Feng .
After a disappointing past, having lost his wife and being generally bitter, Ouyang is very unwelcoming toward most people. We see him meeting for various jobs, hiring bounty hunters for revenge or whatever jobs they need (acting as a middle man), meanwhile each job has a unique value about love & life that seems to be perfect for Ouyang to criticize.
Being as selfish as possible, he does only what is necessary to get paid and does nothing to help those he works with – refusing to do any job unless payment is involved.
We see one scenario after another, as Ouyang shares his thought on life and his lost love before the movie ends in a quite depressing fashion – both in storyline and entertainment value. That’s about it from my perspective.
A confusing mess…
I just cannot call this confusing mess a masterpiece, and most certainly it is not a martial arts film. it has a few quick flashes of martial arts fighting, but they are shot in a way that removes any entertaining element to the choreography. The movie revolves more around discovering the character of Ouyang and his depressing and somewhat pointless existence.
The events are told in a way that requires 150% of your attention to decipher as the story seems to just jump all over the place in a scattered fashion.
The ‘masterpiece’ value of this movie seems to be more about sheer confusion and unconventional storytelling – in my opinion this movie does a horrible job of communicating anything whatsoever to it’s audience and is definitely not a movie which immerses you – instead you check your watch every 5 minutes hoping it will end soon.
I won’t say too much more about this film. As a martial arts film it bombs big time. As a film in general I don’t appreciate it at all. For those who do like it and may even call it a “masterpiece”, I’m glad you got something from it! Because I sure as hell didn’t.
I don’t recommend this to anyone unless you’re in the mood for a brain exercise of trying to decipher it to find some kind of value from it’s viewing. I stand by my opening statement – ‘steaming pile of shite’.
On Blu Ray –
Region Free (All Countries)
Ashes of Time Redux [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Ashes of Time Redux
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Ashes Of Time Redux [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Ashes of Time