Samstag, 9. Februar 2013

Berlinale: 一代宗師 (The Grandmaster)

The various storylines in Wong Kar-Wai's "一代宗師 (The Grandmaster)" don't necessarily make an organic whole, the bumpy cuts from one to another often compromise the flow of the narrative, a problem most acutely felt in the last part of the movie. Add to that some miscues in music choice, and people might start calling this a minor-Wong.

Visually, though, WKW proves he's still the irrefutable grandmaster of style, here staging breathtaking fights and observing gorgeous period details in exquisitely lit spaces, plunging the audience in stunning vistas from start to finish. As to the complaints about excessive use of slo-mo, moi thinks the director and his editing team actually managed to find the tricky balance for the many action sequences, allowing the change in speed, angles, distance to underscore the physicality, seismic force and balletic grace unique to martial arts, never missing the grandeur or the intimacy of the battle.

Both lead actors are outstanding, Zhang Ziyi shows tremendous poise and exercises great restraint, using the merest sneers and unwavering gaze to convey the resolve and inner turmoils of the heroine. Tony Leung delivers an even more fully internalized performance, acting at times solely on the strength of the slightest twitch of a muscle or every emotion left unexpressed yet commanding the entire screen with the weight of his focus and his sheer presence. Now THAT is what I call a movie star.

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