Friday, 3 June 2011

Red Cliff

2008 by John Woo

A friend who runs a small cd shop, in the same building where my office is, sometimes takes a lot of pain to get me the dvd's I ask for. He says normally people only ask for hollywood blockbusters and some people just pick cd's based on the pictures on the cover - of war or explosions or guns etc. It is not feasible for him to buy just a couple of copies of a non English movie, but he still does it for me. He says whenever he comes across such CD's he just picks them for me. There are also a couple of other guys who occassionally turn up in his shop for European or movies from other regions than Hollywood. I am very grateful to this guy for giving me dvd's for a small price, keeping only a bare minimum profit for himself. I do understand, Rafeeq has only some basic education and all, but he is immensly helpful. Well he called me yesterday to say about this new Chineese movie and I liked it immediately when I saw the cover design.

A movie about a real war at the end of the Han dynasty in the 208 - 209 AD.

It is such a brilliant movie, BRILLIANT I must emphasize, and is so detailed in its description of war and its preparations, chequered with some wonderful imagery. When a part of this amazing war was over and we are looking for that final , the screen says - to be continued..... -- I really got mad. I looked the cover again and there is no sign at all about this dvd being a part 1. Except for the name Red Cliff, everything was in chineese. It was so disappointing. Even if it meant the second pat was another 2 hours, I would have continued watching it, even if it was 0130 in the morning. Oh what a pity.

I spoke to Rafeeq and he has promised me to get the second part, if its available in Kochi. So eagerly waiting for this part.

In fact, the part I show was released by itself and still went to break all box office records in East Asia. The second part was released a few months later and that too was a historic success.

Once again let me say, this movie is bloody brilliant. It is all about this epic war, but goes into details as to its preparations and strategies, through some characters. It can match or overrun any of the best epic war movies from the west in its production and all other values and is even better as to some ways it details some war techniques and some interspersed imagery, which makes this movie to tilt it to the artistic side of scale. As a whole movie, I might still consider Mongol - the rise of Chengiz khan slightly above, but as an out and out war movie, this is brilliant.

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