Confucius...What A Great Teacher

I've watched this last week for a preview (my 'official' review here:
in the morning - at 10.30am no less - after a whole night of dining and karaoke-ing with some colleagues for a farewell. Reached home at around 4.30am and crashed into bed around, it's a real testament (I think) that this movie didn't bore me into Sleepland again, what with the comfy (sort of!) seats and air-conditioning. *wink*

This film basically talks about the life of one of the most famous philosophers and teachers in China, Confucius. However, during his time, he was addressed by his given name, Kong Qiu. In the first hour, we learnt that he was favored by the King of his motherland (the kingdom of Lu) and was promoted through the ranks of the court very quickly because of his brilliance in ethics and even - yes, you've read right - war strategies(??!!). But, as we all know in Chinese stories, there will always be jealousy and enmity amongst these court officials, and so by some doings of certain people, Kong Qiu not only got himself into hot soup, but exiled from his kingdom as well. Tsk tsk tsk...such is the life of a wise man.

The second part of the film talks about his wanderings about China's different states with his disciples (who showed fierce loyalty to him and his teachings...such rare traits in this day and age, no?) and spreading his teachings to whomever who will listen. Lots of people did, but not everyone was receptive. And then, fast forward through some events (which will give out spoilers, so I won't tell. LOL!), Kong Qiu and the remaining  of his disciples were umm...UN-exiled to the Lu kingdom, but this time he insisted on only teaching and vowed never to step back into the realm of politics. YAYY for Kong Qiu!

I have to say, for a kind of philosophical movie (there are bound to be philosophies discussed in the biopic of Confucius! LOL!) it didn't bore me to sleep. At all! Which is a big accomplishment in my opinion...LOL! I didn't really get the stories from the Internet about people in China slandering the movie and saying that it was not as good as 'Avatar' (apparently, the screen times of 'Avatar' were cut short all across China to make way for this movie). It's definitely not in the same league, but I like to think that comparing oranges and apples is just wrong.

'Confucius' definitely isn't an all-out saga like 'Avatar''s a little wordy at times, but listening to what they say in the movie definitely gives a lot of insight into that brilliant mind of the man. And yes, the pace can be slow - what with the many court rituals and traditions the Chinese observe in the olden days - but it's a nice kind of slow. It does give me a sense that whatever action that they do has a meaning behind it (or maybe it's my stoned brain talking at the time). Also, some rituals were just plain barbaric in my opinion. It is so great that they managed to get rid of them in the modern age =)

Chow Yun-Fat plays his part well as Confucius, even though people have said he doesn't have to act much...just look wise (aka 'blank face') and you're cool. Even if it is so, I still think he has brought a presence in the film...something not many actors can bring, so kudos to him on that. Ren Quan who plays his lead disciple Yan Hui also deserves another mention. His dedication to Confucius is just...astounding. Even to the point of death, he still holds on to his master's scrolls. How's that for loyalty?

In retrospect, it was quite an enjoyable film. Not sure it will be everybody's cup of tea, but for me it's interesting enough to keep me awake throughout! Don't know why, but I have a hankering to watch it again...and yet, it's only going to open on the 4th! >.<" So, go watch it if you can!

1 Response
  1. Patrick Says:

    Me hates it! Slept through half of it....ok i lied....ALL of it :P