Film: The Assassin

"You skills are without compare, but your heart lacks resolve."

An assassin in 8th century China is called upon to perform one particularly difficult and personal job.

A as a westerner who has never been to China and knows very little about Chinese folklore, it’s safe to say that a lot of The Assassin flew over my head. However, the film is still a visceral, emotional experience.

Any film classed as an ‘experience’ sounds like a pretentious snooze-fest but The Assassin keeps the action just frequent enough to maintain interest. The fight sequences are few and far between though, acting as punctuation between scenes rather than the central focus.

The driving force behind this movie is detail. Every frame is a work of art. Every sound and every movement has been carefully thought out. The wind, the sun and the rain are almost characters in the screenplay. It’s quiet but everything serves a purpose.

The Assassin is an exercise in story-telling through pure film making. This comes at a heavy price - you might find yourself looking at your watch from time to time. However, if you enjoy films for their aesthetic value or just want a break from the norm, this is definitely worth a go.

Hsiao-Hsien Hou | 2015 | IMDB | Wikipedia