Saturday, February 10, 2007


curse of the golden flower
a.k.a. -- ang sumpa ng ginintuang kepyas

The story was quite simple--

Everybody is preparing for a party. You have a mom from the upper class sleeping with the dad's eldest son from his first wife. The dad who is not from the nobility tries to poison his wife to madness so he can control her while banishing her son for ten years. The eldest son sleeps with the dad's pharmacist cum confidant's daughter who apparently is married to his so-called banished first wife. The mom hires a spy to investigate the meds given to her, who happened to be the same first-wife of the dad. Mom finds out. Conives with son to plot a coup against the dad. Eldest son finds out. Tells dad. Youngest envious son kills eldest brother to get attention of the dad. Dad kills youngest son. Coup fails. Son kills himself. The party continues.

Well, it is not that simple really - It is a story of a deranged family. Spiced with tens of thousands of cast, millions of beadwork, kilometres of carpet and an unlimited supply of potted chrysanthemums. Shot in a studio resembling the fabled forbidden city.

We came in about five minutes late and the first scene was the cancelled meeting of the empress with the emperor. It was Hero put to Last Emperor drenched in gold. The next few scenes splattered in shades of aqua, plum, red and more gold. As the whole visual assault is going on, you have breakers of black and gray with fantastic special effects ( I guess, break from all the colors but an assault as well). Then the inevitable battle that made Helm's Deep elementary and as if it is not enough, after everyone was killed, they cleaned the entire area, rolled a new carpet, bring new chrysanthemums and tada! fireworks and the festival pushed thru complete with a choir of thousands. Excess became an understatement.

Living in a country where the film industry thrives on austerity, such lavishness and impossibility is almost ridiculous. Keen attention to detail became a euphemism for
some pathological behavior. Considering that it is based on the latter part of the Tang Dynasty, the most ostentatious of all dynasties, much artistic license was put doubling the entire visual feast.

Come the credits, scored with some chinese pop song. You get out of the cinema saying "P#+@Ng I%@!!! Ano yun?!"

One wonders how the opening of the Beijing Olympics be next year considering that they have the same director.


Rach said...


Na-appreciate ko tuloy ngayon ang "Sumpa" because it's just a simple story of a dysfunctional family trying to deal in a time noong wala pang therapists (Mother: "Where are my meds?" Eldest son: "I find my mom secretly hot!" Youngest son: "No one loves me!"), and their only way to deal was to wear a whole lot of gold and kill thousands of innocent people in the process.

In fairnezz, na-enjoy ko siya the second time. Maybe the third time I watch it,I won't even flinch :)

decorator said...

wala na akong lakas para panuorin pa siya ng pangalawang beses....