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Forever Enthralled (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Leon Lai (Actor) | Zhang Ziyi (Actor) | Chen Kaige (Director) | Sun Hong Lei (Actor)
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Forever Enthralled (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)

Customer Review of "Forever Enthralled (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10 (2)
Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10 (3)

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See all my reviews

November 1, 2011

Supporting Actors Stole the Show Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
I'm still puzzled why Zhang Ziyi was named the main actress while she did not appear much in the movie? Nevertheless, the ones that made this movie interesting were Yu Shaoqun (young Mei Lanfang), Wang Xueqi (Mei's grandfather), Sun Honglei (Mei's sworn brother and manager), not Leon Lai nor Zhang Ziyi. During the first half of this movie, I was so captivated with all characters and their actings. Yu Shaoqun was so wonderful. Ditto, Sun Honglei and Wang Xueqi. They all made this movie so enjoyable. Unfortunately, the enjoyment didn't last long when Mei Lanfang became adult Leon Lai. From then on, the movie went down hill.

Leon and Zhang were so stiff and dull, especially Leon Lai. He was a poor choice for Mei Lanfang. Without them, I'd have given this movie a higher rating.
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cuddley bear
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September 28, 2009

This customer review refers to Forever Enthralled (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
ok Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
The Bejing dialect is very hard to understand while the subtitles are far too small for reading. It was hard work watching. I was hoping to learn a bit more about Mui's life... Also you can never see the actors' faces clearly due to lazy cameras. Zheung Chi Yee is too short to play a male opera role. Very disappointing after waiting so long for this.l
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Kevin Kennedy
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May 3, 2009

1 people found this review helpful

Intermittently Enthralled Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
"Forever Enthralled" is a Chen Kaige-directed biopic of Beijing Opera great Mei Lanfang. In the film's first act, during which Mei Lanfang is played brilliantly by opera-trained newcomer Yu Shaoqun, Mei is depicted as an exceptional young artist chafing at the traditional strictures of female operatic roles. Under the influence of the intellectual Qi Rushan (Sun Honglei), Mei seeks to add greater emotional nuance to his characters. This leads to a confrontation with Mei's mentor, and the leading operatic star of the age, Shi Sanyan (Wang Xueqi), who views Mei's innovations merely as a means of drawing attention away from Shi's performances. This artistic struggle, and the bizarre operatic milieu in which it takes place, are depicted vividly and interestingly.

In Act 2 of the movie, we leap ahead ten years and find the married Mei (now played by Leon Lai) succumbing to the aggressive advances of rising operatic star Meng Xiaodong (Zhang Ziyi). Zhang Ziyi sparkles in her surprisingly small role, but the Mei character comes off much less well. Just as Mei chafed against operatic traditions, now he chafes against the responsibilities of marriage, but this struggle just seems self-indulgent. Turning his back on his loving and supportive wife (Chen Hong), he heedlessly pursues his attraction to Meng. Mei's handlers seek to save him by persuading Meng that Mei's greatness as an artist flows from his essential loneliness and that Mei's dalliance with Meng is destroying that loneliness.

Act 3 of the film presents a muddled portrayal of Mei's resistance to Japan's occupation of China. He refuses the request of the Japanese to perform, but the consequences of that refusal are unclear. Then, with no real dramatic culmination of any particular theme, the movie simply ends. And therein lies the central problem with "Forever Enthralled": The first 50 minutes of the film develop an intriguing central character driven by a commitment to innovate; the rest of the film meanders down less interesting threads of Mei's life. I can recommend the film for the performances by Yu Shaoqun and Zhang Ziyi and its depiction of the operatic world. Unfortunately, when the dramatic climax in a 146-minute long movie occurs only 50 minutes into its running length, the viewer will not be 'forever enthralled'.
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  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
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