by John Woo / China
Mandarin / 2014 / 140 mins
4 DEC, THU / 9:45 PM / Shaw Lido 1*
*Filmmaker in Attendance
The first of a two-part epic, this war-time drama follows the fortunes of three men inextricably linked by fate. In 1945, the Chinese army led by General Lei (Huang Xiaoming) defeats the Japanese troops. An army signaller (Tong Dawei) successfully captures a Taiwanese doctor (Takeshi Kaneshiro) on the Japanese payroll. After the Japanese surrender, the three embark on different paths.
Lei returns to Shanghai and marries a rich family’s daughter (Song Hye-kyo). The doctor returns home to find that his Japanese lover (Masami Nagasawa) has been repatriated, while his former captor falls in love with a nurse (Zhang Ziyi).
Peace reigns until the Chinese civil war breaks out. With the unrest, many rush to board the Taiping, a Chinese steamer headed for Taiwan. In the ensuing chaos, an accident spells tragedy for all on board.
John Woo, a Chinese cinema legend, is one of the rare Asian directors who successfully transitioned into Hollywood. He first revolutionised the action genre of his classics A Better Tomorrow (1986) and Hard Boiled (1992), then had Hollywood hits in Face/Off (1997) and Mission: Impossible II (2000), before returning to Asia with 2008’s Red Cliff (2008).
Takeshi Kaneshiro, Zhang Ziyi, Huang Xiaoming, Song Hye-kyo, Tong Dawei, Masami Nagasawa