Movie Details

ASHES OF TIME REDUX

In ancient China, on the edge of a vast desert, swordsman Ouyang Feng (Leslie Cheung) lives the life of a vagabond, earning his livelihood by hiring others as assassins. Pitiless and cynical, his heart has long been wounded by a love he neglected then lost. But as the seasons come and go, and so do friends and enemies alike, he begins to reflect back upon the origin of his solitude.

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: NA
Release Date: 26 Mar 2009
Genre: Drama / Art / Foreign
Running Time: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
Distributor: NA
Cast: Leslie Cheung, Carina Lau, Jacky Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai
Director: Wong Kar-wai
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang Yang

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Watch this if you liked: "Blueberry Nights”, “Chungking Express”, “In The Mood For Love”

Edited from the 1994 release "Ashes Of Time", Wong Kar Wai's 2008 redo can only attest to his ongoing legacy as the most celebrated HK director of these times and also the least understood as well.

Whatever differences there are between the two versions (1994 and 2008) that you can read about at length online, it remains that the story is essentially and annoyingly the same - a moody reflection of a hardened swordsman (Leslie Cheung) who lives in the desert and subcontracts assassinations to various strangers. It's talky, it's academic and it makes great viewing for art house aficionados who worship Wong for his colour palette choice.

The best reason to watch "Ashes Of Time" is that it puts forward an all-star cast of critical actors - Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Carina Lau, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Charlie Young, Jacky Cheung and the departed Leslie Cheung. They go about riding horses, wielding swords and drinking Chinese wine in a confusing wuxia story with wonderful music to comfort you. The movie thankfully does finish strong and leaves you with a very convalescent aftertaste.

Best watched alone, "Ashes Of Time", redux or not, is a detached metaphorical piece without the arrogance of directorial indulgence, but still suffers from the lack of mass appeal even among fans of Wong Kar Wai titles. If the catastrophic 1994 Hong Kong box office for this movie is anything to go by, "Ashes Of Time" is best buried among the lesser of Wong's works.



Cinema Online, 03 September 2009
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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