[critical] The Grandmaster

China, 1936. Ip Man, the legendary master of Wing Chun (one of the various styles of kung fu) and future mentor of Bruce Lee, leads a prosperous life in Foshan where he divides his time between his family and the martial arts. It is at this time that grandmaster Baosen, head of the College of Chinese Martial Arts, is seeking his successor. For his farewell ceremony, he went to Foshan, and her daughter, Gong Er, herself a master of style Ba Gua and the only one to know the figure lethal of the 64 hands. During the ceremony, Ip Man confronts the great masters of the South and then the knowledge of Gong Er in which he finds his equal. Very quickly admiration turns into desire, and uncovers a story of impossible love. Shortly after, the Grand master Baosen is murdered by one of his disciples, and then, between 1937 and 1945, the japanese occupation plunged the country into chaos. Divisions and conspiracies arise, then, within the different schools of martial arts, pushing Ip Man and Gong Er to make decisions that will change their lives forever…

Author’s Note


Release Date : April 17, 2013

Directed by Wong Kar-Wai

Film in hong kong, chinese, English, French

With Tony Leung, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen…

Duration : 2h03min

Original title : Yut doi jung si

Trailer :

In the preamble, I feel I have to clarify that I am not a fanatic of asian cinema at the base and to confess immediately that The Grandmaster has not sparked a new love for the genre either. In effect, this biopic about Ip Man, master of the famous Bruce Lee in the kung fu field, directed by Wong Kar-Wai (in the beginning of In The Mood for Love, rewarded in Cannes and the Césars, and 2046) is certainly aesthetic in the treatment of its images and most of his sets despite a few “green funds” that are visible (the shooting lasted almost a year and most of the sets have been created for the occasion) but fishing by a rhythm and a mounting destabilizing and that pushed the viewer that I am to boredom.

Even the scenes of combat, present even though it is not strictly speaking a film of kung-fu, do not specifically raise an eyebrow with the exception of a scene introducing a stakeholder (and which required a month of filming 15h non-stop alone) : this is without doubt due to a bias of the director to use close-up shots throughout the film either during the verbal (and sometimes verbose) or… during the fights, making them legible. Then, of course, a certain poetry emanates from these pictures, some replicas and a sense of honor, exaggerated but it is compensated continuously by a printing messy tempering the pleasure of viewing.

The duration of filming and editing has not affected the performance of the actors or the aesthetics of the set, but some choice of implementation, and a scenario quite a few built in the end lose the viewer very quickly.

This does not, however, are not the actors who déméritent : lived and stylish, the trio of Tony Leung (In The Mood for Love, Infernal Affairs), Zhang Ziyi (Memoirs of A Geisha, crouching Tiger, hidden Dragon) and Chang Chen (crouching Tiger, hidden Dragon, The 3 Kingdoms), previously met in the 2046 from the same director, adapts perfectly to their respective roles and gives body to the main protagonists. The duration of shooting (360 days spread over 3 years !) and mounting has not affected the performance of the actors or the aesthetics of the set, but some choice of implementation, and a scenario quite a few built in the end lose the viewer very quickly.

In fact, The Grandmaster has its technical qualities that it is visually or in the game of actors, but his weaknesses in pace and its visual choices to be risky in the treatment of the fighting, there is also the film in its broad widths. Damage.

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