What to Drink While Watching “The Grandmaster”

grandmaster 1

 

Some of you ought to know by now that Sheen and I are big fans of Kar Wai Wong, director of In the Mood for Love, 2046 and My Blueberry Nights among other goodies. We took time out of our raucous schedules to accommodate the viewing of his latest pic which has blockbuster pretensions thanks to its lavish cinematography and luscious choreography.

 

The Grandmaster is the story of the rise to prominence of Ip Man, otherwise transcribed as Yip Man, one of the forefathers of what has become known as kung fu to us culturally impoverished westerners.

 

The story is full of unnecessary flashbacks and flashforwards. There are some dazzling fight scenes. The soundtrack is delicious. But what remains, when the dust settles and the wounds heal, is the love between Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi…

Tony Leung

 How many films have these two made together? I have no idea. They were pretty passionate in 2046 (made in 2004) and hey, here they are at it again. Tony is over 50 now, has bags under his eyes and is getting paunchy; Ziyi is in her mid-thirties, gets lovelier as the years go by, and is beginning to rival the great Gong Li as the Most Adorable Chinese Actress Of All Time, the Claudia Cardinale of the east, but she’s too old to play the part of Gong Er in The Grandmaster.

Zhang Ziyi

Sheen and I yawned throughout the film. Kar Wai Wong tries too hard to push the Wow factor; every scene is gorgeous (even when Zhang Ziyi isn’t in it); the slow-mo is glorious; the recreation of South China in the 1920’s is sumptuous. But the tale is not that interesting and the pace is unhelpful.

 

I think coffee is the best drink to indulge in when viewing this movie, just in case you feel your eyelids drooping. I would like to recommend one of those freaky Chinese liqueurs with lizards and stuff but honestly, I just can’t.

 

Just as I can’t recommend Kar Wai Wong’s The Grandmaster. And, believe me, I’d like to.    

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