Saturday October 9, 2004


I think I may have just seen the most beautiful film of my life.

Hero is an English-subtitled film starring Jet Li as an ancient Chinese warrior with supernatural fighting skills. The film begins as a story of his great accomplishments in defending his kingdom from foreign assassins, but soon takes on a whole new dimension as the characters discover what it truly means to be a hero.

Hero treads familiar ground in its action sequences, picking up where Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon left off. But far from a simple continuation of those special-effects techniques, Hero succeeds in breaking new visual ground. The symbiotic relationship of clenched-fist anticipation and stunning visual treatment take this film further than its producers’ predecessor.

There is an awesome truth in the way color underlies the storytelling; it exposes the lies, alludes to the possibilites, and reveals the final, heroic truth. The sheer saturation or the color is, at times, impossible to describe. The characters are complex and true; even while in direct opposition to each other, they exhibit trust in and honor for each other. And the ending? Well, you just won’t see it coming.

So do yourself a favor, especially if you are at all a person who is inspired visually. Take time on a carefree weekend evening and go see Hero. It will inspire you.

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