The Emperor and the Assassin
|Writers:||Wang Peigong and Chen Kaige|
|Sony Pictures Classics; R; 161 minutes|
|Cast:||Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi, Li Xuejian|
The Emperor and the Assassin is a broad historical drama about China's first emperor, Ying Zheng (Li Xuejian), a man who united the nation through epic intimidation, bloodshed, and betrayal. Director Chen Kaige's other monumental outings (Yellow Earth, Farewell My Concubine) appeared more personal, although this is a well-realized tale with considerable weight. Star Gong Li gives a standout performance as Lady Zhao, the Emperor's lover and only trustworthy friend, whom he eventually betrays.