Thursday, February 18, 2016

752. Peking Opera Blues

Peking Opera Blues
Directed by Tsui Hark

Maybe I am getting stupider in my old age, but I had a bit of trouble understanding this one.  I still had fun with it for the most part, but can I give an accurate plot summary?  It remains to be seen.

While Sun Yat-Sen attempts to create a democratic republic in China, warlords fight for power.  Okay, I got that far from my Asian history minor.  Now I am flying by the seat of my pants.  During a warlord's siege of Peking, a soldier catches a young woman stealing a jewelry box.  Most of the action after that takes place around an opera house.

Wow that sucked.  I hope I am never called to the stand as a witness after that display.  I don't know why I was so confused.  I think it was because all the major characters kept dressing up and I couldn't get anyone straight.  I do know that the action scenes were fantastic and the costumes were beautiful to look at.  Maybe I will try it again with a notepad, a translator, and a chart.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Tsui Hark said the film was a satire on the "Chinese ignorance of democracy."


  1. One of the most beautyful Hong Kong movies of the 80ies.

    I agree with you though, the setup is complicated and follows at least three plotlines. Each focused on a female protagonist with separate agendas.

    A general's daughter who is secretly working for the revolutionaries, a golddigging musician in search of a missing box of jewels and the daughter of an Opera impresario who wants to be an actress.

    Within the historical setting after the forced abdication of the last Emperor of China in 1912, the movie is basically about loyalty and growing friendship of the three heroines joining forces at the Beijing Opera House.

    Even though the actionscenes are phenomenal, it is more a continual hide-and-seek comedy, than a traditional martial arts film. I understand, why you found yourselve pulled in many different directions simultaneously. The actors almost never stop role-playing and there are some hilarious scenes, that could be from a Marx Brothers movie.

    There are only a few martial arts films I know of with so many richly developed characters. Brigitte Lin is fabulous as allways. As far as I'm concerned one of the most charismatic and charming actresses in Chinese cinema.

    So yes, everybody out there should watch this one if you can get your hands on a good copy - it is wildly entertaining.


    1. That's true about the characters. Maybe I will try it again?

    2. Yes, maybe you should some day.

      Browsing through your site has been a pleasure. You do have a good way with words and I like that you have a mind of your own and are able to express it publicly. Go and be successful in all your endeavors!

      By now and take care Amanda

    3. Wow thank you so much! This comment made my day!