The Assassin


Action / Drama / History

IMDb Rating 6.3 10 14


Downloaded times
May 12, 2020


Chen Chang as General Xin
Qi Shu as Joey
Satoshi Tsumabuki as The Mirror Polisher
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
968.01 MB
Chinese 2.0
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.95 GB
Chinese 2.0
23.976 fps
105 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by infoalwaysacritic 6 / 10 / 10

Painfuly slow, but so beautiful

The camera lingers on a woman, sitting on a bed, partially obscured by silk sheets that blow gently in the wind. The sheets drift apart and for a moment you see her face, contemplative. In a word, this is this film in a nutshell - contemplative. To dispense with any misunderstanding, perhaps brought about by the title, or the brief description and the intense looking protagonist on the cover art, this is not a martial arts action film. The story contained within is a twisted intrigue of politics intertwined with an ill-fated love story and a young woman in emotional turmoil. There are a handful of beautifully choreographed scenes of combat, but in between lie long partitions of setting, silent physical drama and awkward monologues. Making use of some of the most spectacular scenery in cinema, parts of the film have the feel of a cultural documentary. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to think that probably a third of the movie is setting shots of forest, lakes, trees, mountains, hills, goats, people's faces while they do something with their hands off camera, people walking, more people walking, people dancing, buildings at night, buildings in the day, buildings at sunset, buildings at sunrise, grass, person walking in grass, unknown person standing in trees, person looking surprised, then walking away... It's boring, it's beautiful and features some impressive mastery of camera work, lavish costumes and sets that are beautiful but it's also tedious. If viewing a film of this kind for the first time, a person may find it difficult to follow, not because the story is complex but because the story is thinly exposited between lengthy shots that establish very little if anything at all. Subsequently it is easy to lose interest between the action scenes and get lost in the cultural documentary that parses several critical events. There is an audience for this type of a film - who is looking for something without hollywood glitz, who's tired of the over-the-top melodrama of western politics, who want something beautiful and slow and most importantly is familiar with enough Chinese culture to be able to infer the significance of seemingly pointless scenes. For example, there is something deliberate in seeing a random woman you're sure you've never seen before, standing in a forest, doing nothing. Maybe there's some significance to her gait, because she's a well known actress, and that's supposed to reveal an important relationship to another character. Is that exciting to you? Then sit back and get ready to watch a lot of people who stand there and say nothing, or participate in mundane everyday life events without an explanation. If you can decipher such curious camera angles and what's not shown or even talked about, you too can infer the meaning of this film, which isn't that mind-blowing when you do, but it's fun to participate along the way. While you're doing so, try not to be distracted by the film ration spontaneously switching from 4:3 to 16:9, that just happens... or does it?

Reviewed by itsuki04 8 / 10 / 10

if you're only interested in fighting and killing, this might not be the film for you

I'm surprised by the bad reviews on IMDb. I think the problem is that a film titled "The Assassin" happens to attract a certain type of audience--people who are only interested in martial arts flicks, or who walk in expecting an action-packed adrenaline ride. You might be disappointed in this film, but I don't think this movie was meant for you. A previous review mentioned the "depressed, stilted tones" of the actors. I don't know what you were expecting ... an assassin during the Tang Dynasty to burst out into song about her inner anguish and emotional turmoil? I watched an interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien, the director who won the prestigious Best Director award at Cannes for this very film. He used a tennis analogy to explain it perfectly, so I'm just going to paraphrase below: "If you watch the tennis greats like Federer or Nadal battling it out, there's not much expression on their faces. The speed that they're going at, the power in each exchange, there's no room for emotions." The director, Hou, actually instructed Shu Qi (The Assassin) to tone down her expressions. The crew filmed the fight sequences again, and again, and again, until the actors were all bruised up and the fight flowed naturally, by instinct. By this point, there was really no need for dialogue or excessive expressions. If you're an assassin fighting for your life, kill or be killed, are you really going to be thinking "let me get my blue steel pout ready for the camera"? If you can get over the need for overly dramatic expositions and go into a film knowing the main character only has approximately nine spoken lines, and if you can enjoy a film for how starkly beautiful it is.... this might be the film for you.

Reviewed by tianwaifeizhu9090960 8 / 10 / 10

unique and breath-taking

Many of the audience will not find this movie to be much flattering. Even in China, where the cultural barriers are not supposed to be a big problem, lots of people fall into sleep in the cinema. But there are still some fans of this movie, just like me. 1). Actually it has a quite complete story, which is about politics. In history of China, the tension between the central control and the local force has always been a problem for thousands of years. Weibo, the place where the story happens, has witnessed two different political forces fighting with each other. One group, inclined to make peace with the central court, includes Nie Yinniang and her family. The other group, inclined to the strengthening of local power, includes the wife of the lord (their marriage is a political alliance at the beginning, the same with the marriage of the lord's princess mother). As a fan who always love dramas of political fights, I quite fancy this story. 2). Tang Dynasty has always been a fantasy to most Chinese people. With a frequent communication with different ethics and civilizations, Tang's culture was quite inclusive, and even a little bit exotic for Chinese people. While most shoddy TV plays and films fail to represent Tang's lifestyle, this film presents not only the dazzling costumes and dances, but also original Tang Style's architecture. All those elements make the film attractive. 3). The film's pacing is very slow, and the actions of characters are very simple. The dominance in the shots is shared by natural elements, such as wind, smoke, fog, etc. The way how natural scenes are unfolded, as well as how people are embedded in the space, follows a pattern of classical Chinese poetries and paintings. People who love Chinese poetries and paintings would certainly like this film.

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