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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 11 May 2017
The film shows what happens when an extremely intelligent enlightened idealist butts heads with an entrenched power structure held in place with the sword. The film starts as a middle aged Kong Ze steps up from being an effective local mayor to a central government official and runs through a potted history of the wars between nation states over the next few years. The rise and fall of Kong Ze and his subsequent years of exile before being invited home again.
The problem is that Kong Ze comes into the film as a full adult, there's next to no explanation as to how he forms his ground breaking philosophy beyond a few cryptic flash back utterances with his master. Perhaps this is because nobody knows the answers and they want to avoid filling in gaps in the historical record with hearsay and legend, but it does leave you wondering where his ideas sprang from.
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on 23 June 2017
The subtitles were difficult to follow
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on 27 May 2017
a very watchable DVD about the life of Confucius
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on 3 June 2017
very good film and price
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on 6 March 2015
I thought it was outstanding,Moving and very well acted. ad produced.feeling peaceful now. made me want to read his book again.lovely views and scenery
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on 10 July 2017
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on 6 October 2010
This is a beautifully shot film that will open up the life of one of history's greats to many more people. Chow Yun Fat puts in a superb performance as Confucius and the cinematography is spectacular. Although on the Cine-Asia label, who are renowned for their martial arts catalogue in particular,this is categorically not a martial arts films - although the battle scenes will I am sure, please those that enjoy immense scale action. This is definitely a film for those that are in to Chinese cinema art and that want to be entertained whilst finding out more about history, philosophy and Confucianism.
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on 3 May 2012
Confucius called in this film Kong Ze is played by Chow Yun-Fat. The actor brings to screen a great deal of gravitas. Chow Yun-Fat manages to portray Confucius with a great deal of dignity.
Unfortunately he is battling against a film that couldn't make up its mind. For a film about a great man which is meant to portray both his history AND his philosophy it did neither.
We jump straight into the film where half of Confucius life is already gone, we see nothing of what made the man.
Cine Asia label who made the film are best known for action films and as such decided to fill the film with a action sequences. Admittedly the cinematography is excellent but they tended to miss the man himself.
Chow Yun-Fat follows the Confucian way himself, it enabled him to bring a great deal to the film. Frankly he carries the film, what could he have done with a better vehicle.

All told it could have done with half an hour cut from it to make an action film or the same added to make a decent biography. As it is it sits in the Half-and-Half territory and does neither.

As with the other reviewers I had problems with the subtitles.
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This is a very lovingly produced version of the life of Confucius ranging from his roles in politics (including the Chinese pleasure in crafty military ruses) through to his wanderings with his faithful disciples to his return to his homeland. I cannot speak to the accuracy of the film but it certainly gave a strong narrative line as the exponent of civility of government is variously honoured, cheated and rejected by the ruling elites of the Warring States. It is not a short film and will not please those who look for Chinese cinema to be mostly wire-work and sword play.
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on 16 March 2011
In spite of only giving this 3 stars, I'm not saying it's a bad film. It's just I think it could be a lot better with a slightly different treatment, e.g. a director's cut.

As stated elsewhere here, some of the subtitles - even though they convey very important historical information and signpost milestone plot moments - appear on the screen for only a fraction of time. If you are not already familiar with the historical Confucius (I'm not) then this is a real wasted opportunity to let the film convey this information, without the need for independent research (or the need to watch a different film).

Still, what's here is sensitively handled. By which I mean, the film is not all balletic, epic fight sequences that I worried it might be (though there are one or two) and is mainly about politics and character development. Chow Yun Fat is great in it too. Not overplayed. Not overdone. A very nice, respectful, believable rendition.

As I say, I feel I missed a lot of important information throughout, so the film didn't have the impact for me that it might have. Lastly, I found the text put up right at the end of the film, kind of like an epilogue tribute to the legacy of Confucius, was a little overdone. It's not that it was factually incorrect (on which I'm not fit to judge) but rather that the film had already left me with a positive appreciation of Confucius of my own, so I found this a bit forced/jarring.

Lastly, the Blu-ray presentation is good. Crisp and colourful images and good sound (in the original language).
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