The Assassin (2015)

The Assassin (2015)

2015 NR 105 Minutes

Action | Drama | History

A female assassin during the Tang Dynasty who begins to question her loyalties when she falls in love with one of her targets.

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • The Assassin is not for your typical moviegoer. This is pure Arthouse with a hint of Wuxia so if you were hoping for lots of martial arts you will be disappointed. What we are presented with is an aesthetically stunning piece of cinema. Director Hou Hsiao-Hsien utilises so many techniques: wide landscape shots, frequent cuts during the action scenes and a mixture of the monochrome filter and colour. I mean it was brave and bold. The dialogue is kept to a minimum so it's the scenery that tells the story and hypnotises you. I loved how the camera starts rolling before the characters enter the scene. I loved the slow panning that reveals characters entering a scene. Technically this is absolutely brilliant and was worthy of winning best director at Cannes. The acting was functional, Shu Qi portrays an assassin who has conflicting motivations as she struggles to murder due to the sentimentality she has for people themselves. The rest of the cast were good, nothing outstanding. The production design and costumes are magnificent! Like I said, this isn't for everyone...the reason why is because this moves along at a glacial pace. This is VERY slow and so I understand why people may not like this. Plus the narrative is not clear and you are having to put in the effort to focus on the story. However, Arthouse films are not necessarily entertaining but they do convey beautiful pieces of cinema. This will be a difficult re-watch but its aesthetically stunning nonetheless.