JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,

Just finished watching ...

... the movie Warriors of Heaven and Earth, a Chinese film that I've been wanting to see for a long while. Not because I'd ever heard anything, good or bad, about the movie itself, but because I've owned the soundtrack CD for a couple of years and love it ... one of those albums I can set on repeat and play over and over for half the day without getting tired of it. Didn't know the CD was a soundtrack when I bought it either (there's no mention of that on the exterior packaging) ... I just grabbed it because I recognized the name A.R. Rahman, who I knew had composed the music for all three films in Deepa Mehta's "Elements" trilogy and who is also a noted musician in India outside of films. Only when I got 'round to reading the liner notes did I learn that I was listening not only to a film score, but that it was Rahman's first attempt at writing an orchestral score. And what a score it is ... sounding traditionally (well, our traditionally) western one minute, Chinese the next, and East Indian the one after that.

And so, in this roundabout way, I finally came to watch the movie ... more out of curiosity to see the scenes that match the music I know so well than anything else. And I'm glad I did ... it's an amazing little historical flick about a Japanese warrior serving the Chinese court, who is desperately homesick and is told he may go home if he hunts down and kills an outlawed Chinese army officer; circumstances lead to his joining forces with his prey against a common enemy. In a nutshell, it's about how duty and honour aren't always the same thing, and the choices that need to be made between the two. The ending isn't what one expects, and the fighting, aside from a couple of leaps that obviously were assisted by flying harness, is pretty realistic ... not a pretty ballet of flashing swords, but the grim truth that if you use sharp, shiny things people die, and sometimes they're your friends. Costuming and hair and weapons and landscapes and all that visual jazz ... excellent. And the characters ... well you can't help but grow to like 'em all, even the bad guys (to a point, anyway ***GRIN***)

Not earth- or soul-shattering, but definitely worth watching if you come across it ... just one of those little movies that sometimes makes more of an impact than the big flashy ones.

P.S. For those interested in the music, the soundtrack isn't sold under the movie title: it's called Between Heaven and Earth
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