Melody
I watched this movie three weeks ago and to tell you frankly, I couldn't decide if I would want to write a post on it. After all it starred two of my favourite idols and I don't want to make it seem like a fan post. However, I didn't want to let this movie go unnoticed considering it has a good plot involving the Peking opera so here you go.

The story opens with a group of men, women and children being sent to behead under the order from the merciless Prince Regent of the Qing Dynasty set during the 19th century.

A five-year-old boy named Er Kui and his family are a few of the unfortunate victims and before the execution started, he began to sing a song before doom befalls his family and his beautiful voice startled Master Yu Shengying and his seven-year-old pupil, Guan Yilong, who are bystanders watching the commotion.

Yilong asked his Master if he is able to rescue the poor boy from his gallows, and Master Yu did save the boy in the end. Master Yu is a "Wu Sheng", which means a warrior and it is a highly and well-admired status in the world of Peking opera and for this, he earned a golden plaque which is the most sought-after prize.

However, arch-rival Master Yue demands a duel and Master Yu is forced to retire from the opera after the lost of the duel. He places his hope on Yilong and Er Kui and trains them to be "Wu Sheng". Fast forward, the two boys have now grown into fine young men and they had mastered the arts Master Yu taught them. They left for Shanghai to avenge for their master, and they did so on stage since Master Yue's troupe had a public performance. Master Yue chose to die than facing the humiliation but his dreadful action has spurred on another revenge cycle; this time around through his beloved pupil, Xi Mulan.

With the colourful setting of Peking opera mix with martial arts, My Kingdom tells the tale of two sworn brothers's journey as "Wu Sheng" and how their life ruin under the hands of love, revenge and deceit. In my humble opinion, what makes this movie stands out is aside from the cast, it gives the audience a better understanding of Peking opera and a glimpse of the performers' life on stage as well as backstage. What we see on stage may be short, but it takes all the years and hard work of the performers' for perfecting those movements we get to enjoy as an audience.

Mulan and the rest of the troupe have no choice but to let Yilong and Er Kui take the lead of their troupe; after all Yilong has now caught the public attention with his excellent performance and it is no doubt he is now the new "Wu Sheng". Er Kui didn't mind being the sidekick, after all he has more important thing in mind, such as to kill all the sons of the Prince Regent to avenge for his family.

While some may think the premise is cliché, I have to say it is the rich history and the choreography that is the highlight of this movie. I also watched with marvel at the colourful of the costumes and how Peking opera has brought to life under the directions of Director Gao XiaoSong and Action Director Sammo Hung (I understand that this movie took 4 years of making). Wu Chun (Guan Yilong) and Han Geng (Er Kui) may be the leading actors here, but I also have to give credit to Lu Chen, Taiwanese renowned magician (who makes a debut in this movie) for playing his role well as a corrupt cop.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie immensely and I'm not saying that just because my idols starred in it. Needless to say, I look forward to getting the DVD once it is released.
5 Responses
  1. Julia Says:

    My Kingdom seem like it going to be a good movie. I will try to watch it soon, if I'm not busy..that is ;) Great review, Melody!


  2. naida Says:

    This sounds great Mel. I enjoy films with beautiful costumes and choreography. Very nice post!


  3. Violet Says:

    sounds so good, I'm going to find this with subtitles.


  4. Melody Says:

    Thanks, all! It is a good movie IMO. ;)

    Violet - There's English subtitles when I watched this movie so I hope you'll get to watch it! :)


  5. I like the sound of this movie. I will have to see if it's availabe on Netflix. Love the photos you included.