This was a Chinese dvd so for once I had the subtitles on because all the dialogue was Mandarin, rather than because I couldn’t hear the mumbling actors.  The scenery, as in most China-based films, was stunning, and my other half told me that the main actor was hugely famous and popular in China.  So, did these two factors, together with the story of Confucious,  conspire to make a good film?
   Almost.  I thought the first half was very good, showing Confucious up to several clever tricks and thereby defeating various enemies, both politically and in the theatre of war.  But then I think the film lost its way.  Confucious, exiled from his home, goes wandering around all the local provinces – which you would think would be a fine opportunity to show different ways of life and Confucious being clever again.  But not so.  Nothing much happens.  He wanders, and grows old, and various followers are either killed or summoned off elsewhere.  Then he himself gets summoned back home, where he sets up a teaching academy (not much of that seen though), apparently writes a book, and expires.
   I’d give the first half of the film 8 out of 10, and the second half only three or four.  So the overall impact was less than it might have been.  If you see this dvd going cheap it’s probably worth a look – but don’t splash out for the full price.
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