Monday, July 27, 2015

House of the Flying Daggers - Movie Review

Its one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. The story starts innocuously enough, in 859 CE in China, with two policemen discussing how they have been asked to capture the leader of the rebel group called the House of Flying Daggers. Catching the old leader was tough and took them three months but they need to capture the new leader in ten days.

The captain Leo tells his man Jin to go to the local whorehouse for some leads. The young man is an accomplished fighter and a charmer with the ladies. He falls for a new girl, a blind one, who they believe, is the daughter of the old leader. She is an accomplished dancer and equally good with her martial arts. The police capture her and the madam and haul them off to the police station.

Here captain Leo changes the plan and tells his man Jin to make the girl believe he is on her side so they can follow the girl to the House of Flying Daggers. The charming Jin does what he does best - wins her confidence - but fatally so. She falls in love with him and he with her. The two are hunted by the soldiers, now with an intent to kill and Jin does not understand why. The stunts in the forests, flying soldiers taking off from one bamboo tree top to another, almost as if they are swimming in air, the scenes with the flying daggers, arrows, bamboo wedges are breathtaking.

Couple of twists. The girl is not blind. The captain Leo is a Daggers man who has infiltrated the army. The two were in love but now she loves Jin who is on the other side. When she is ordered to kill Jin the girl does not and asks him to leave. But Jin comes back and there's a face off with the captain. A big fight. There's the girl between them. Sacrifice time all over. One fatal error in judgment and the girl commits suicide.

It's a love story after all. But some of the most breathtaking visuals I ever saw. Watch it if only for that. House of Flying Daggers was released in 2004.

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