Monday, January 12, 2009

On Movies

I have recently started to get back on track with movie watching. To me, watching movies is an educational pursuit. Movies are like a well developed thought experiment. By introducing characters, plots and scenarios, we learn to question ourselves in the scenarios.

A movie I watched yesterday is the most recent Red Cliff II. In the novel, the Romance of the 3 Kingdoms, the battle of Red Cliff is a battle of wits. That is the reason I love it so much. But in the movie, it became a battle of integrity. Zhou Yu is portrayed to be a man of peace, a defender of country and family and lastly a honorable fighter. While Cao Cao is a man after world domination, lustful and treacherous in sending the epedemic across the battlefield. Sadly, the movie failed to convince. In twisting a situation of war into a platform to discuss peace, John Woo is doing nobody a service. We failed to marvel at the ingenuity of the book, and we fail to emphatise with the tragedy of war victims. Movies like Good Morning Vietnam and Black Hawk Down, with a down to earth descriptive story-telling, strangely gives more compelling cause to the bleakness of war.

Is there a lesson to be learnt here?
Wow33: Sometimes, the message is more compelling by being more descriptive than prescriptive. Let the facts speak for itself.

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