House of flying daggers

Obelism The dagger symbol originated from a variant of the obelus plural: They were used to mark questionable or corrupt words or passages in manuscripts of the Homeric epics.

House of flying daggers

Consider his Heroa film about assassins who are attempting to kill the king of an ancient Chinese kingdom who we know, as a matter of history is to unite the whole of China under one power. The film is not about failed assassination attempts, however.

Rather, it tells how the assassins gave up their original cause, and their lives, voluntarily, for the greater good of ceasing conflicts to unify the country.

Though one may or may not have sympathy for such a belief, it is not a manifestly repugnant message on the face of it. But the rationale is in the end unconvincing, because it is not one character in the House of flying daggers that chooses surrender, but all the characters force themselves on it as the most desirable choice of action.

If one was surprised in a negative way by Hero, one could not have been excited by the prospect of House of Flying Daggersyet another martial-arts themed period film. What has been lauded as its virtue is that it is rather silly overall and one can distance oneself from the actual content of the movie, and the House of flying daggers and their predicaments, and just enjoy the surface.

What is the film about, exactly? And is the content of the film, quite apart from the exigencies of the martial-arts genre, silly in itself?

As the film begins, it gives you the impression that it will be about battles between a senescent, corrupt government and a resistance group. By its latter third, the film all but completely abandons the original premise of the battle between the government and the rebels, and becomes a tale of love triangle.

And the film ends with the three characters battling one another. Then, how does the film end, and what does it exactly say about what the film is truly interested in?

The first impression is that the film is a tragic love story between two people belonging to the opposing sides of social order, with the former lover of one of them as a villain. Mei orders Leo, who is aiming a dagger at Jin, to let Jin go, and warns Leo that, if he kills Jin, she will throw the dagger — that Leo threw at her still stuck in her heart — to kill him.

And Leo, in the end, does not throw the dagger but only feigns it with a throwing motion, in effect provoking Mei to throw her dagger at him.

Thus, he too wants to die.

House of flying daggers

Therefore, she wanted to save the life of Jin, even if it meant her own death, and could not bring herself to kill Leo either. It is she, and not either of the men, who dies. But this interpretation does not mesh either, for there is much ambiguity in the ways the three characters react to one another.

If the ending is trying to say that all three are trying to die for the person whom he or she loves, the questions still remain. If Mei had no intention of killing Leo in the end, then why did she threaten to kill Leo? Did he just want to die at the hands of the woman whom he still loves?

And the fact that Mei shakes her head tearfully as Jin moves closer towards Leo suggests that her threat was intended to merely end their conflict, wishing that Leo, fearing his death, would let Jin go, rather than satiating his hatred toward Jin, and that Jin would be willing to leave her.

Jin, instead of letting go of her as she wanted, chooses to put his life in the hands of Leo, who wants to kill him, to not see her die, quite blind to the fact that his choice is compelling her to use her dagger. And realizing her true intention, and the foolishness of his choice, Leo sheds tears.

But here, the subject becomes not love between two people lasting all their lives, but the tragic conflict between different sorts of love that a person feels: But it is more emphatically a counterpoint to a film like The Road Home, in that it strongly questions, not celebrates, the myth that lovers should have no pasts and no prior attachments or no futures and no subsequent attachments, for that matterand that love should be preserved at any and all costs.

While the sudden turns in the plot may invite derision rather than astonishment but the plot makes perfect sense upon some reflection: In effect, the film stresses that any social order, whether old or new, is in the end inimical to the desires of an individual person, since it does not and cannot promote the fulfilment of individuals over the overall benefit or maintenance of the order.

Thus, the film becomes not a statement for or against a certain order of things, but tries to become something quite universal, dealing with the kind of conflicts that are quite beyond cultural, historical, etc. Mei does not fall in love with Jin because she wants to escape her social duties, but they both fall in love with each other quite against their will, and it is not the social duties that prevent her from running away with Jin, but her conscience towards what she has done to Leo, which again was done quite against her will.

Thus, no matter within what societal order such conflicts may appear, they cannot be resolved without difficulty.Unlike Hero – to which it was inevitably compared – Zhang Yimou's follow up film should be considered more as an “intimate drama” about love than as a historical epic or political allegory.

The Flying Cloud, R Airships, adventure, gallant gentlemen, and sultry island maidens. It is a world much like our own, except that the Great War ended in Rent House of Flying Daggers () starring Takeshi Kaneshiro and Andy Lau on DVD and Blu-ray.

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