Well GO USA
Release Date: Feb 17, 2023
Mori Hiroyuki‘s enigmatic role in Hidden Blade (长空之王) is perhaps the most telling about all that transpired within to save China from itself, and the occupation that took place during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Multiple eyes are on Wang Jingwei’s Puppet Regime and they aren’t doing anything to give the Chinese people peace of mind.
What we hear from this Japanese diplomat is that he’s involved. Nearly a quarter of his dialogue is about defining our expectations for this movie. When he said, “Japan and China are inseparable partners. It’s our shared goal to boost the economy, join hands against the Communists, and achieve prosperity in East Asia. We wish that more and more Chinese people could understand Japan’s true intentions,” I got the shivers.
It’s this narrative that drives this historical espionage thriller to fascinating territory. While the first act is about Mr. He’s relationship (Tony Leung) with this new regime, the interlude with this Japanese character makes understanding this film a lot easier.
As a result, it helps explain in simpler terms what writer and director Er Cheng sees as most telling before Communism takes a firm hold of this vast subcontinent, and sets up China’s future. Later, Mr. Ye (Wang Yibo, pictured above) moves us further into the story development and that’s when the action gets amped up.
Everything this filmmaker presented is fascinating and scary at the same time. Not only is he offering his own take on what he believes has transpired to save his country from Japan, but also he paints this cinematic presentation with a golden glow to suggest hope is achievable.
In that regard, this film truly deserves China’s equivalent of the Oscars for visual achievement. Without it, Hidden Blade wouldn’t be as sharp in its additional social studies of this country’s past. And to be honest, I’d have to learn more about the country my parents came from. They lived through part of this political upheaval (my Dad told me stories) and as a result, eventually he wanted to emigrate out. He later met my mom, and while that marriage was here in Canada, I wonder what she faced when leaving.
To watch this movie must have been a tough reminder of what happened nearly a century ago. It debuted over Chinese New Year, and while that’s an unusual date, the patriotism is certainly evident for much of the tale. But those seeing it in America or elsewhere, post celebration, to witness how all this subterfuge unfolds is certainly one that’ll burn into your memory.
4½ Stars out of 5