Saturday 5 August 2023

The Last Emperor (1987) Movie Review

Introduction Review The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor (1987)

The Last Emperor is a historical drama film released in 1987, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The film showcases the life of Puyi, the last emperor of China, and his rise and fall from power. The movie features a cast of non-professional actors and received critical acclaim for its cinematography, direction, and acting.

The story of the film starts from Puyi's childhood and follows his journey as he is appointed as Emperor of China at the age of two. It depicts the lavish life led by the Emperor in the Forbidden City and his expulsion from the palace after the fall of the Qing Dynasty. The movie also portrays Puyi's struggle later in life as he tries to find his place in the rapidly changing world of China.

The Last Emperor won multiple awards, including nine Oscars, for its outstanding cinematography and costumes. Bertolucci's direction and the performances of the cast were also widely appreciated. The film takes the audience on a journey through the turbulent times of Chinese history, and it was uniquely filmed in the Forbidden City, making it a visual treat for the viewers.

The Last Emperor is a masterpiece that should be on the list of everyone who appreciates cinema. Its storyline, direction, and cinematography highlight the stunning beauty of China and the charm of its history. The movie portrays the life and times of the last emperor in a compelling and unforgettable way. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Chinese history or cinematic art.

Plot Summary Review: The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor Movie Poster

The Last Emperor is a historical biographical drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The movie tells the story of Pu Yi, who was the last Emperor of China. The story starts with Pu Yi's childhood as he becomes China's Youngest Emperor at only three years old. His life in the Forbidden City, his education and how he comes to understand what it means to be an Emperor who will not have power are presented in detail.

The plot of The Last Emperor moves forward with the changing political landscape in China. From the end of imperial China to the fall of the Qing dynasty and the rise of the nationalist Kuomintang party under Chiang Kai-Shek, Pu Yi is plunged into the chaos of war and revolution.

We see how Pu Yi transforms from a captive and powerless emperor to a sympathetic prisoner to the communist regime. He spends years in prison after being captured by the Soviet Red Army in 1945. After he is released, he works as a gardener in the Botanical Gardens of Beijing. Later, he is released from prison by the Chinese government and begins living a normal life.

The cinematography and music of the movie are exceptional. The film won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The superbly detailed and historically accurate production design, from the Forbidden City to the gardens that Pu Yi worked in, is awe-inspiring. The acting is also impressive – John Lone portrays Pu Yi as reserved and introspective, and Peter O'Toole delivers a tour-de-force performance as Pu Yi's Scottish tutor.

In conclusion, The Last Emperor is a must-watch movie for history buffs and anyone looking for an excellent biographical drama film. The story of Pu Yi's life is presented in a compelling way that offers a glimpse of the political turmoil in China during the 20th century.

Characters and their backgrounds Review The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor movie

The Last Emperor (1987) is a historical drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci that tells the story of Puyi, the last emperor of China, from his childhood until his adult life. The film portrays several characters with different backgrounds that impact the plot of the movie.

Puyi's character is the most compelling in the story. He is depicted as a boy who was chosen from a young age to be the emperor of China and who does not understand the changes that are happening outside the Forbidden City. He is confined within the walls of the imperial palace, and his childhood is isolated from reality. Later on, he struggles with the changes and tries to adapt to the new political climate after China embraces communism.

Another prominent character in the movie is Reginald Johnston, Puyi's Scottish tutor who becomes his closest confidant. He plays an essential role in Puyi's life, teaching him about western civilization and preparing him for the challenges he will face in the future.

The Dowager Empress is also an interesting character in the movie, as she is the one who chooses Puyi to be the emperor of China. She is a traditionalist who wants to maintain the old ways of the imperial court, but her power fades as China moves towards modernization.

In conclusion, The Last Emperor is an excellent movie that portrays the story of China's last emperor and the events that lead to the fall of the Qing dynasty. The film's depiction of the characters and their backgrounds provides a deeper understanding of the historical events and adds to the overall authenticity of the film.

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Setting and Location Review of The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor

The Last Emperor is a 1987 biographical movie about the last emperor of China, Pu Yi. The movie was filmed on location in various places in China, including the Forbidden City, which was the palace where Pu Yi lived when he was the emperor of China. The movie's setting and location are breathtaking, which makes it an excellent movie to watch.

The movie's setting is an essential aspect because it helps create the right atmosphere and immerse the audience into the movie's story. The Forbidden City is an excellent location choice because it shows the grandeur and opulence of the imperial palace. The movie's setting also shows how the palace and its inhabitants were cut off from the outside world, giving the audience a glimpse into China's history.

Besides the Forbidden City, the movie also captures the beauty of other Chinese locations. The movie shows the vast landscapes of China, from deserts to mountains, which are beautiful and mesmerizing. The cinematography is excellent, and it makes the audience appreciate China's natural beauty.

In conclusion, The Last Emperor is a beautiful movie, in terms of its setting and location. The Forbidden City and other locations in China provide a backdrop that is not only visually appealing but also helps tell the story of China's history. The movie's directors did an excellent job of capturing China's beauty, and it is an excellent movie to watch for anyone who loves history or beautiful scenery.

Cinematography and Visual Effects Review of The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor Movie Poster

The Last Emperor is a visually stunning movie that takes the audience on a journey through the life of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. The cinematography is simply breathtaking, with each scene meticulously crafted to tell the story of Pu Yi's life. The use of vibrant colors and intricate set design transports the audience to a different time and place, making it feel like they are experiencing the world through Pu Yi's eyes.

The movie also features impressive visual effects for its time, particularly in its depiction of the Forbidden City. The grandeur and scale of the palace is captured excellently on film, with the use of sweeping camera shots and intricate details bringing the iconic landmark to life. The special effects also lend themselves well to the dream sequences throughout the movie, which are beautifully surreal.

In addition to the breathtaking visuals, the movie features excellent performances from its cast, particularly John Lone in his portrayal of Pu Yi. The story is engaging and captures the complexities of Pu Yi's life, as he navigates the changing political landscape of China.

Overall, The Last Emperor is a cinematic masterpiece, with its stunning visuals and compelling story. It is a must-see for anyone interested in cinematography and visual effects, as well as for those interested in Chinese history.

Sound and Music Review The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor movie poster

Soundtrack that Illustrates a Chinese Culture

The Last Emperor, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, is a stunning movie that displays the life of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. The movie was not only known for its exceptional cinematography, but also for its outstanding sound and music. The soundtrack, composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Byrne, and Cong Su, captured the essence of traditional Chinese music and integrated it beautifully into the film. The music was able to complement the surreal landscapes and imperial surroundings of early 20th-century China.

Chinese Instruments Merged with Western Composition

The soundtrack of The Last Emperor perfectly merged Chinese instruments with Western composition. The film's main theme, "Theme from The Last Emperor," which was composed by Sakamoto, brilliantly combines the sound of a solo piano with a Chinese bamboo flute called a dizi. The theme is then carried throughout the film and is reinterpreted differently in each scene. The film's climactic scene features a grand parade with an orchestral ensemble playing a piece written by Cong Su which included traditional Chinese instruments such as guzheng and pipa.

The Role of Music in the Movie

The music of The Last Emperor played a pivotal role in creating the overall atmosphere of the movie. It was able to add emotional depth to the scenes while at the same time creating excitement and elevating the action sequences. The music is also able to help the viewer understand the cultural and historical elements of the film better.

In conclusion, The Last Emperor's soundtrack is a cinematic auditory masterpiece. The combination of traditional Chinese music with Western composition was an excellent decision that helped make the movie what it is today. The music was an integral part of the film's storytelling process, which immortalized the reign of the last emperor of China.

Themes and Messages Conveyed in The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor Movie

The Last Emperor, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, tells a story about the life of Puyi, the last emperor of China. The movie portrays themes of power, identity, and cultural change. It also conveys important messages about the consequences of imperialism and the difficulties of cultural adaptation.

One of the movie's themes is power. It shows how those in positions of power are often trapped and unable to escape their circumstances. Furthermore, it also displays how Puyi tries to resist power, but ultimately succumbs to it. In addition, the film also depicts the contrast between traditional Chinese culture and the emerging modernization in China.

Another theme conveyed in the movie is identity, specifically the struggle of Puyi to find his place in the world. The film illustrates how Puyi's identity is shaped by his surroundings, and how he is torn between his loyalty to tradition and the need to adapt to changing circumstances. It also highlights the importance of knowing who you are, as well as the consequences of losing one's identity.

The Last Emperor also conveys a message about cultural change. It shows the difficulties of adapting to a new culture and the challenges one faces when they lose their cultural roots. The movie displays how Puyi's world is shattered when he is forced to abandon his traditional clothes and beliefs in exchange for Western-style clothing and ideology. Ultimately, the film demonstrates how cultural change can have both positive and negative impacts.

In conclusion, The Last Emperor is a cinematic masterpiece that portrays themes of power, identity, and cultural change. The film conveys important messages about imperialism, cultural adaptation and staying true to one's roots. It is a film that is not only visually stunning but also thought-provoking, as it challenges audiences to think deeply about the complexities of life and the consequences of the choices we make.

Critical Reception and Reviews Review The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor movie poster

The Last Emperor (1987) is a biographical historical drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The film depicts the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, from his ascent to the throne as a small boy to his imprisonment and political rehabilitation by the Chinese Communist Party.

The film received critical acclaim upon its release and won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised the film, writing, "It is one of the most sumptuous films ever made, as well as one of the most intelligent, and there is a sense in which it is simply too beautiful for its subject matter."

However, the film was not without its detractors. Some criticized the film for its portrayal of Puyi as a naïve and passive figure, and for its supposed romanticization of the life of an emperor. Pauline Kael of The New Yorker wrote, "There's something bogus about the solemnity with which Bertolucci presents Puyi as a misguided innocent."

Despite these criticisms, The Last Emperor remains a cinematic masterpiece and an important piece of historical filmmaking. Its stunning visuals, intricate plot, and strong performances from its cast continue to make it a beloved classic.

Overall, The Last Emperor is a must-see for fans of cinema and those interested in Chinese history. Its critical reception and reviews exemplify the enduring impact it has had on the world of film.

Review: Box Office Performance and Awards Won for The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor Movie Poster

The Last Emperor is a 1987 biographical historical drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. It tells the story of the last monarch of the Qing Dynasty, Puyi, who was in power during the Chinese Revolution and after World War II. The movie was a commercial success, opening in 13 theaters in the United States and grossing over $507,000 in its first weekend. It ended up earning over $43 million at the box office and becoming the highest-grossing foreign-language film in US history at the time.

In addition to its box office success, The Last Emperor also received critical acclaim and numerous awards, including nine Academy Awards. The film won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound. Bertolucci's direction was praised for its sweeping beauty and majesty, while the art direction and costume design were widely acknowledged for their intricate and authentic details.

The Last Emperor also won four Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Original Score. It took home the Palme d'Or at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival and won the BAFTA Award for Best Film. The movie remains a classic in the historical drama genre and has become a cultural touchstone for many.

In conclusion, The Last Emperor's success can be attributed to its excellent storytelling and skilled filmmaking. It dominated the box office and won numerous awards, solidifying its place in cinema history as a masterpiece. If you haven't seen it yet, it's definitely worth a watch.

Conclusion Review The Last Emperor (1987) Movie

The Last Emperor movie poster

The Last Emperor (1987) is a cinematic masterpiece that explores the life of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. Directed by the renowned filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci, the film won multiple awards including Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. The movie is visually stunning, with breathtaking scenery and intricate period costumes that transport the viewer back to the days of imperial China.

The story of Pu Yi is told through a series of flashbacks that chronicle his life from being a three-year-old boy chosen to become emperor, to his eventual downfall and life as a prisoner. The film portrays the complicated and often corrupt world of Chinese politics in the early twentieth century, as well as the struggles that Pu Yi faced in adjusting to life outside the palace walls.

One of the most remarkable aspects of The Last Emperor is the portrayal of Pu Yi's character by actor John Lone. Lone successfully captures the complexity of Pu Yi's personality, showing both his flaws and his strengths. The film also features a strong supporting cast, with standout performances from Peter O'Toole and Joan Chen.

Overall, The Last Emperor is a must-see film for anyone interested in historical dramas or international cinema. It is a visually stunning and emotionally gripping tale that captures the complexity of one man's journey through a rapidly changing world.

In conclusion, The Last Emperor is a cinematic masterpiece that deserves its many accolades. It is a stunning visual experience that tells a captivating story of one man's life in imperial China. The film's success lies not only in its technical achievements but also in the performances of its actors, particularly John Lone's portrayal of Pu Yi. If you have not already seen this film, make it a priority to do so. You will not be disappointed.

The Last Emperor (1987) Movie Review

Are you a fan of historical dramas? If so, The Last Emperor (1987) directed by Bernardo Bertolucci is a film that you don't want to miss. The Last Emperor chronicles the life of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China, from his ascension to the throne at the age of three to his downfall and imprisonment by the Communist government.

The film is visually stunning, featuring vivid depictions of royal palaces, and intricate costumes that transport viewers to the world of imperial China. The movie also stands out for its fantastic soundtrack, which is composed by David Byrne of the Talking Heads and Ryuichi Sakamoto.

One of the most interesting aspects of the movie is how it juxtaposes Pu Yi's opulent and sheltered life as an emperor with his ultimate downfall and political struggles. In this sense, the film also offers insight into the politics of the time, including the rise of Communism in China.

Overall, The Last Emperor is a well-crafted and captivating film that is well worth watching. It's a testament not only to the life of Pu Yi but also to the rich and complex history of China. So next time you're looking for a historical drama to watch, consider giving The Last Emperor a try!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did. Don't forget to share this review with your friends and family!


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Review The Last Emperor (1987) Movie