Monday, 30 June 2014

The Flowers of War (Blu-ray)

We bought this film in an HMV sale in February 2012 and it's sat in our 'to be watched' pile ever since. That happens sometimes, a film just doesn't grab us enough to make the time - despite looking good enough to buy at the time.

Well, anyway, we finally decided to watch it yesterday. Well, I did. My partner still wasn't that fussed - despite it being his blu-ray.

By the end of the 2.16hr run we were both emotional wrecks! We'd both spent chunks of the film in tears and felt drained. Exactly the kind of movie-watching experience we both enjoy.
I love it when we watch something and then think Why didn't we watch that earlier!?

The back of the box is actually a little misleading - making the film sound like a war film. Yes it's set during a war (the battle for Nanking in 1937) but there is so much more to this film.
Christian Bale (one of my favourite actors) plays a self-centred drunk who is just trying to get enough money together to escape the city. He works as a mortician and agrees to take one final job before fleeing. The job is in a convent school, but when he gets there he finds a bunch of young girls, their guardian (a young boy) and no money!
They are shortly joined by a gaggle of prostitutes trying to find somewhere to hide.

The performances by all the women in the film are perfect. Given that these actresses are all speaking a foreign language they do an amazing job with such emotionally charged material.

That's about all I can say about the story without ruining some of the most wonderfully executed story twists I've had the pleasure to watch.
This is a highly emotional film, with some sequences incredibly difficult to watch - but any film that displays the level of courage, selflessness and strength of character deserves to be watched.

Easily the best film I've seen so far this year.

It should be noted that there are strong scenes of violence, sexual violence and war.
Also, a lot of the film is subtitled, so if you hate subtitles then this is not the film for you.

I strongly urge anyone who reads this review to give the film a chance.

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