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A military commander uses a look-alike to win a war against an unpredictable king.


Why watch this film?

Ying is a patience movie. Highly stylized, using a grey scale to compose scenarios and costumes prominently, the feature film by director Zhang Yimou ('Hero', 'The Flying Daggers') takes advantage of a story that flows slowly, like a calm river in the plain. It requires perseverance from the viewer, who may tire with the first half, with a lot of drama, conversations and political strategies of Ancient China. In the second half, however, when the wars start and the story gears up, the film takes on a striking epic air -- but without leaving the good script and, mainly, the styling aside. The yin-yang, symbol used all the time in the scenes of the film, shows well what Zhang wanted to do here: a balanced film, seeking to smooth out the excesses all the time, in which story mixes with action, style with narrative, drama with intensity. Good movie to pass the time and, also, to understand better about the history of China from other times.



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Plot summary

In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a "shadow", a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the King himself. Now he must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the King does not want.

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