In a Nutshell. Mini reviews of movies old and new. Minimum words. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional trout.

Monday, 16 November 2015

NIE YIN NIANG [2015]

aka
The Assassin

After a lengthy absence from cinema, acclaimed Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien is back with the poetically slow-burning wuxia Nie yin niang.
During the 9th century Tang Dynasty, after failing to finish a job, because of her sensitivity, a skilled female assassin is sent to kill her cousin instead.
It includes all the usual ingredients of your typical wuxia fable, only told in such a lingering pace many viewers, looking for a quick fix of fancy martial arts action, will be turned off with immense boredom.  Visually it's quite stunning with each frame composed with a delicate painting like care that breathes life into the story in such a subtle manner it's highly recommended that you watch the film more than once before deciding on how you feel about it.  Without any knowledge of the history of this grand nation, you're bound to be completely lost, that is if the odd character introductions and multiple sub-plots haven't already lost you.
As a lover of film, I couldn't help but be completely entranced with the beauty and nuance of this tale but found myself completely baffled more often than I'd like to admit.

4 zithers out of 5

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