Movie Review: The Banquet 夜宴

The Banquet

If you haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about, shut down the computer and head over to your nearest theatre and get your tickets. Now.

So the question everyone have in their mind after watching the movie;

Who is the unidentified assassin who murdered Empress Wan (Zhang Ziyi) in the last scene of the movie?

From The Banquet message boards, Yang_zunyi thinks that Prince Wu Luan (Daniel Wu) is the murderer.

This movie have two version of storyline to tell. A version that is showed on the screen that is quite understable by regular movie goers, like what was mentioned in the intro of all the internets review, and another version that was wisely jointed up together by small amount of wise movie fans like me, who like to think. hahaha, not to flatter myself, but i might be wrong too. But i just find my version is more making sense and u have to really think of some certain small scene throughout the movie that proves my storyline is correct.

Anyway, i might be wrong, the killer of Zhang i think is the Prince Wu Luan. The expression of Zhang and the music background when she died already tells it all.

Actually this can be proved.

1. From all the main characters, the way the Prince died was too fake, its not like he was stabbed or decapitated or somethin, he just touch the dagger that according to General Yin its poisonous, then he died. This kind of dead can be faked out by him.

2. As whats with general Yin, he might have plot the whole fake poison dagger thing with the prince. Theres a scene to proved it, remember the scene when two of them r arguing on the throne on the snow scene, just after he saved the prince from the imperial guards. He says somethin like the time will come and ask the prince to wait or somethin.

3. As why the prince killed Zhang Ziyi, althought all of us r blinded and think that they r really in love, actually the Prince really hated her. theres only one explanation. The real killer of his father is Zhang herself and not the 2nd king, which all this while we think the killer is. Theres no proof showed the 2nd king poisoned the 1st king.

4. Point no 3 also can be proved, remember after Zhang left after had a little argument with the Prince when he was washing his long hair, then a drawing mysteriously appeared that shows how the king was poisoned. The killer in the drawing resembles a bit like a female figure.

5. Also, Zhang seems like someone whos good at using poison anyway, can be prooved at the poison shop. She loves the prince, but forced to marry his father must created huge hatred that motives her to poison the king, so that the prince will take the throne or somethin.

6. The most obvious clue is the green sword that killed Zhang. Thats the sword the prince used. Its was broken in a fight but i guess only him can make a new sword since he is an artist anyway.

7. As whats with Zhang’s handmaiden, i believe she does also one of the character that have a plot all this while, and the one that change the whole perspective of the movie, but was totally ignored by the viewers and the screen. Why the camera shows her face with the strange reaction when the 2nd king was abt to drink the poison, well, theres only one explanation. She knew Zhang poisoned the 1st king, and also she knew that Zhang wants to poison the 2nd king too.

8. As who drop the mystery drawing to the prince, here goes. The drawing appears just seconds after Zhang left the Prince. Hello, who else was near both of them? Zhang’s handmaiden of coz!

I believe all the points i discovered above r the true message and plot and storyline the movie wanted to tell us. This is an artistic movie with great twists, it takes a movie genius like me who like to think artisticly to understand it…. haha

Hope this version is more making sense and hopes it changed your view of this movie and on Zhang’s character.

YC Yeoh however believe that Emperor Li (Ge You) is the culprit.

Evidences to prove Emperor Li killed Empress Wan:

(1) Emperor Li did not vomit blood unlike Qing Nu when he drank the supposedly poisoned wine.
(2) Nevertheless, the Imperial Guards surrounded Emperor Li before he drank the wine.
(3) The Chief Eunuch could have exchanged the wine cup when he brought it back from Qing Nu.
(4) You can check out the ‘Making of The Banquet’ and you will find footage of Emperor Li shaved bald preparing to be a monk.
(5) May be after he seeked revenge on Empress Wan, he was too devastated to rule after losing his ‘beloved’ Empress Wan. Filled with guilt, he decided to live our his remaining days as a monk.

Please feel free to continue this review if you agree or disagree with my analysis. Thanks.

Who do you think is the murderer?

The above passages may contain spoilers.

Rating: 3.5/5

2006-09-25

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