I had been looking forward to watching this flick, despite the mixed reviews I had been reading over time. After all, this movie comes from the creator of House of Flying Daggers, one of the most awesomest movies of all time, IMHO.
Well "Curse of the Golden Flower" is no "House of Flying Daggers." For one thing, it has the haziest and most disturbing of plots, and more holes than a pair of fishnet stockings.
What's so disturbing about it? The fact that someone is forcing you to take daily poison that will slowly drive you mad. Say what you want, it really makes me twitch.
Having said that, a disturbing twist in the plot I can take. A hazy story full of holes, not so much.
But back to our movie review: To his credit, Chow Yun Fat makes a really scary villain with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In fact, other than the Empress and Prince Jay, the Royal Family has no sympathetic characters at all. (And I am not sure about the Empress: What was she smoking when she got involved with Prince Wan? He was a weenie of the first calliber.)
On the other hand, she is beautiful and smart, and a woman who will not go down without a fight. Even if the fight is one of the worst planned coups of all times. You can't help but admire the gal.
The cinematography and visual effects are stunning, of course. The costuming is beautiful and glittery but, what's with the women's boobs up to their ears? If there are any costumers out there who specialize in Chinese fashion, please clarify this one for me. I don't recall ever seeing boobs on a platter on any Chinese period images.
Of course, this is theatrical costume as opposed to period costume, but I have the nagging suspicion that this film did for Chinese costumers what "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" did for 16th Century costume afficionados: Make us all run away screaming.
But "Curse of the Golden Flower" is worth watching. If nothing else, just so you can say you did.