THE BANQUET

The Cinema of Asia
China (PRC), Hong Kong / 2006 / Mandarin dialogue with English subtitles / Colour / 35 mm / 129 minutes
no poster

Synopsis

This epic, free reworking of Shakespeare's Hamlet is set in a nameless Chinese kingdom in 904AD. Crown Prince Wu Luan (Daniel Wu, the story's Hamlet counterpart) loves Wan (Zhang Ziyi), but leaves home when his father the Emperor claims her as Empress. Three years later, Wu Luan's uncle, Li, murders the Emperor, usurps the throne and marries Wan. The Prince returns to the palace, but his quest for revenge is complicated by Wan's double-dealing ambitions and his love for Qing, a demure royal attendant. When the prince offends Emperor Li, he is sent on a suspicious "diplomatic mission", returning just in time for the climactic banquet that will claim several lives.

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