An entirely fictional historical drama set in a court of a Chinese king is the target of Zhang Yimou's extravagance. At the time of release it was the most expensive Chinese film to be ever made, with Chow Yun Fat and Gong Li appraising the lead roles. A highly melodramatic story that features a royal family, incest and intrigue. But the plot is so obvious that the only thing that keeps you watching is the ethereal beauty of Gong Li and the elaborate costumes and sets. The only reason to subject yourself to this movie is if you are stuck on a plane with nothing to read.
Rating: * *