Rating (2.5 out of 5)
Summary: Beautifully shot scenes, that deliver a melodramatic storyline in a pace seemingly designed more for insomnia clinics than a movie theater. When the fighting finally started at the end, there were truly gorgeous scenes and moving tragic heroes. The film required 90 minutes to set up the story to get us to the battle scene; the movie was simply too slow. Also, the melodrama was pounded into the viewer like a hammer.
Plot: A young poor man is trained to be the shadow/doppelganger for the commander and slowly he falls for the commander’s wife. The commander from behind the scenes maneuvers everyone towards the final calamitous battle.
Detail: I enjoyed the final battle scenes. The umbrellas were fascinating in their use. The princess joins the battle and heroically dies. Her death is a moving moment in the film, and I wish I had known more behind her character. Had it not been for these battle scenes and the ending scene, this movie would have been a 1 star.
Too many characters owned focus in the film. This was required to create all the different trajectories. This method isn’t my favorite method of telling a story and in the complexity, they overlooked details and details of the characters. For example, to have the princess have her heroic death, she joins the secret army the commander has created. How did she know how to find it? How did she know how to use the umbrella? But take her death away, and this movie is a 1/2 point lower.
The black and white tone used for the movie was interesting and thought it brought a melodramatic touch to the film. With the darker tone though, the film needed a better pace. If we had less focus on the other characters, maybe we could have focused on the training and developed the love triangle.
In short, the trailer shows you the best part of the film. If you rent it for a dollar, fast forward to the hour and 30 mark, and pick it up from the start of the battle scene.