The Last Emperor

  • Australia The Last Emperor (more)

VOD (1)

Plots(1)

This epic tale embraces the entire sweep of Twentieth Century China and charts the most tumultuous changes the country has ever seen. A story of an extraordinary and unique man and his journey of self-discovery. (StudioCanal UK)

Reviews (6)

Kaka 

all reviews of this user

English An exhaustingly long, emotionally dry, and ostentatiously stiff monstrosity pretending to be a blockbuster, but aside from technical prowess, it lacks any of the other essential film attributes necessary to satisfy the viewer. The numerous accolades completely elude me, and the overall praise for this film is also beyond my comprehension. The topic is worth attention. The sets are impressive in themselves, and there are a few interesting scenes – if there weren't at least a few interesting scenes in this three-hour thing, it would be truly sad – and we must not forget the excellent performance by the child actor playing the emperor, which deserves praise. But the rest is simply a series of images with zero emotional impact. And that's exactly what the Oscars used to reward, and once a film has Oscars and other notable awards, and people start singing its praises and making a fuss about it, it is easy for it to get high ratings, even though at its core it's a boring piece of crap. ()

lamps 

all reviews of this user

English Bertolucci may not narrate with the precision of David Lean, but he still manages to create an utterly immersive formal setting where every shot is like something out of an art gallery and every musical motif sends a pleasant chill down the spine. The second half is rather tedious, but the first half aspires to the position of the most beautiful biographical fresco ever. The director also skilfully balances two storylines ingeniously switching between them, the heady audiovisual feasts are joined by a smart and valuable portrait of a great personality (not so much of a historical era, which is only sketched). If all that was crammed in 130 minutes, it would be a treasure. ()

Ads

DaViD´82 

all reviews of this user

English A great movie, but in my opinion it is spoiled by the fact that it concentrates too much on long-winded interludes that aren’t really at all important for the plot. On the other hand, it ignores or gives only brief mention to events in the life of the “last emperor", that would be enough to make another entire movie. And however much the movie is an actor’s dream, the actors don’t take much advantage of the chance to perform. Not that they are bad. Not at all, but they all somehow lack a spark inside. But the picture is excellent nevertheless. ()

gudaulin 

all reviews of this user

English After watching Bertolucci's The Last Emperor, I'm not surprised that this film garnered a bunch of Oscars. It is meticulously crafted with a careful choice of subject matter as if it were destined for the Oscars. This is also reflected in its high budget and academic directorial precision. Some criticize the film for its noble boredom, but contemporary cinema offers plenty of blockbuster popcorn movies for those who prefer them, so they can confidently turn to those that adapt the comic book source material. I wouldn't criticize The Last Emperor for being boring, but it is true that in its bombastic costume splendor, the characters and the story somewhat get lost. In addition, the emotions that the director deliberately tries to evoke in viewers do not inspire the utmost trust in me. The film is certainly not emotionally neutral; the creators want the audience to identify with their protagonist, so we follow a boy who was separated from his mother shortly after birth, grew up without friends, and succumbed to restrictive court etiquette. He couldn't even choose his wife, and surely everyone understands the immense inner suffering he experienced when the court put a princess in his bed, played by the very seductive Joan Chen, and an equally charming companion. How horribly cruel was the fate of this handsome young man compared to his millions of subjects, who at the same time were boringly dying in huge famines and miserably languishing in the countryside... It is also interesting how much attention the creators devote to the childhood and adolescence of this man compared to his later role as a political leader and statesman, and later as a prisoner. This period can be most easily sold to the audience emotionally. According to historical facts, the real last Chinese emperor was an irresponsible playboy in his youth, easily influenced and lacking vision and personal will, but with a huge ego. He was most likely a homosexual, but unlike today, that would have been difficult to sell in the mid-80s. His involvement in the occupation of northern China and collaboration with the Japanese is unquestionable, although the film tries to portray this period as a victim of circumstances. Finally, the film completely overlooks important stages of this person's life, such as his luxurious Soviet internment and later awkward role in China, where the Communist media used him as a propaganda platform to demonstrate the re-education of class enemies. In reality, they were far from being gentle with them, and this man was a prominent prisoner with a special status. The Last Emperor offers top-notch visuals and spectacle, but it didn't emotionally captivate me, and I won't be returning to it. Overall impression: 65%. ()

Lima 

all reviews of this user

English A spectacular nine-Oscar film that is visually breathtaking. The life story of the last reigning descendant of China's emperors, from his coronation at the age of three to his passing as a common gardener under the Communist regime. Bertolucci captivates especially with magnificent sets and a lavish colourful spectacle in scenes from the Forbidden City, full of beautiful costumes. I was fortunate enough to see it in the cinema, it's far from being the same on the TV screen and the final impression is barely half of what it was in the big screen. Bertolucci clearly proved that he is a master of costly epics, and then he put his experience to good use in another costume drama, Little Buddha. And by the way, Bertolucci was the very first non-Chinese filmmaker allowed to shoot in the Forbidden City. ()

Gallery (72)