'Shadow' | Film Review
Chinese writer/director Yimou Zhang’s ‘Shadow’ is largely an example of a trailer being better than the film itself. The trailer is captivating, leading one to believe the movie is going to be mixture of martial arts fighting and palace intrigue. However, the full extent of the film is largely unbalanced in this regard, with most of the runtime bogged down with political maneuvering and the action sequences only ramping up towards the last quarter of the movie.
What stands out most is the strikingly beautiful set design, featuring a stark black and white color palette inspired by the ancient Chinese painting tradition of ink brush.
Yet the most challenging aspect of the movie is trying to keep track of the plot’s myriad twists and turns. It’d assumably be easily to do if one were fluent in the native language. However, trying to follow the labyrinthian storyline is exceedingly difficult given the fact that the plot is dense and the film is subtitled. As a result, we’d recommend watching 2016’s ‘The Handmaiden’ instead, which is a better representative in the genre. Both trailers are below.