Customer Reviews


5 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars English Subtitles on this DVD, 10 Oct 2013
This review is from: Raise the Red Lantern (DVD)
Although the DVD says Thai sub titles, this movie does have English subtitles. Such a beautiful story, glad it's finally available in UK with English Subtitles.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Chinese film, 11 Jun 2007
By 
M. Williams - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This must be one of the most refined and elegant Chinese films ever made. A beautiful young woman is pushed into becoming a junior wife of a rich man by her widowed stepmother who can no longer support her and finds that sharing not just a detatched husband but her whole life with her older "sisters" is a microcosm of suspicion and envy. The women in this cloistered world have only their companionship with each other to entertain them but they have beautiful clothes and small luxuries, like foot massage, when they are pregnant. The emotional deprivation becomes too much for one of the wives though with disastrous consequences.

What is intriguing about this film is the deft and subtle way that the viewer is enveloped into the world of the women and confronted with the same dilemma as the new bride to work out who are friends and enemies. As the story unfolds, the Hitchcock like terror underpinning their discipline becomes apparent but for one of them it is too late. I would strongly urge anyone to see this film - mostly especially if high quality world cinema is of interest to you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, 10 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Raise the Red Lantern (DVD)
I have been looking for a good print of this movie with English subtitles for 20 years, so this is a delight. This Thai copy does not say it has English subtitles, but it does.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am so delighted, 11 Feb 2014
By 
Nana Wilson (London, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Raise the Red Lantern (DVD)
Fabulous film. Fabulous purchase. Cannot fault this near perfect film. Beautiful, sublime, suspense, intensity. I was panicky when I thought there were no English subtitles but I am very happy with the seller for sending me this movie
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars "If you marry a rich man, you will only be his concubine." "So let me be a concubine. Isn't that the fate of a woman?",, 25 Mar 2014
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Raise the Red Lantern (DVD)
This is one of the best films I ever saw - and this is also one of the saddest things I ever saw... Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS.

The film was adapted from a succesful Chinese novel, "Wives and concubines", written in 1990 by Su Tong. The action in both the book and the film is set in 1920s China.

Nineteen-year-old Songlian (Gong Li), whose father has recently died and left the family bankrupt, marries into the wealthy Chen family, becoming the Fourth Mistress (wife) of the household. Her husband, called The Master, is much older - he is at least 50. We never see his face in the film. The Master reigns supremely over the whole household and especially decides on a daily basis which wife he will spend the night with; whomever he chooses gets red lanterns lit in her part of the house, receives the foot massage, gets her choice of menu items at mealtime and more generally gets the most attention and respect from the servants. Other than the four wives, the Master also sometimes choses servant girls to share his bed.

The First Mistress, who is as old as The Master and who already years ago bore a son (The Young Master) to her husband is out but also above the melee - for many reasons, not the least of which is her age... The other three wives are however in constant competition against each other, continually vying for their husband's attention. At least one of the servant girls is also taking part in this contest, willing to be elevated to the rank of wife... This fight is merciless and frequently ugly. Nothing more will be said.

When I saw this film in cinema in 1992 it impressed me and encouraged me to look for more of modern Chinese films - and it certainly didn't lose any of its power since. This film is of course first a darn good story and a good character study but it is also much more than that. I think that both the writer Su Tong and the director Zhang Yimou played the official Chinese censorship a nasty trick, because under cover of denunciation of polygamy and old times of warlords and Kuomintang, this thing is in reality a merciless indictment of AUTHORITARISM in general! The Master has total power over the household, his wives and all servants - and even if he is not really a monster, this very fact of concentration of all authority and power in one hands generates already great injustice and many tragedies...

Another lesson of this film is a warning about the price one needs to pay for comfort and avoidance of hard labour. The First Mistress was almost certainly not asked her opinion about marrying The Master - their marriage was probably arranged since the childhood. But the other three had other options - especially the Third and Fourth Mistresses; they chose however to become de facto concubines (the title of wife is a pure courtesy) for material security and especially to avoid hard work. And The Master delivered what he promised - but as the film shows, the price they have to pay for this is VERY high.

Finally, the film shows that fight to the death should not be waged just for the pride and honor - such a fight should be fought only when the prize is REALLY worth it. Unlike life, honor can be restored and surviving gives at least a hope of getting even in the future - but death is by definition the end of fight and it ends all hopes of revanche.

This film was the one which made Gong Li, already famous in China, a star known in the whole world. It also still remains the best film made by Zhang Yimou I saw - I liked it better than "Shanghai Triad" (which is not bad by the way) and martial arts/historical dramas like "Hero", "House of Flying Daggers" (not bad either) and "Curse of Golden Flower". I admit with shame that I still have to watch "Red Sorghum", "Ju Dou" and "The story of Qiu Ju".

Bottom line, this film is a MASTERPIECE, a must to all amateurs of good cinema. Enjoy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa9295354)

This product

Raise the Red Lantern
Raise the Red Lantern by Zhang Yimou (DVD)
Out of stock
Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews