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May 07, 2006
WU JI (THE PROMISE) – China’s most expensive film to date
When there are people starving in the countryside and inhaling burned coal and asbestos, it’s always a shame to find out where priorities lie. With a budget of 82,572,490 Yuan ($35 Million), WU JI (THE PROMISE) is the most expensive film in Chinese history. Now out in theatres across the country, you better pay good money and watch the film to pump money back into China (…you say to yourself to assuage guilt)!
THE PROMISE was written and directed by Chen Kage, who made his mark with the film, Farewell, My Concubine. Stylized violence and martial arts action adorn this fantasy film about a poverty-stricken orphaned girl, who makes a promise with an enchantress. In return for beauty and riches, she will never be with the man she loves. The catch is this: “Once you have accepted your destiny, nothing can alter it unless time flows backwards, snow falls in the spring, and the dead come back to life.” Uh oh, I sense doom and gloom.
When she grows up to become Princess Qingcheng (Cecilia Cheung from Hong Kong), she regrets her promise when she falls in love with a man who rescues her from death. The rescuer is Kunlun (Dong-Kun Jang from Korea), the slave of a great general, who had disguised himself as the general to rescue the princess. Mayhem ensues as the princess believes the actual general (Hiroyuki Sanada from Japan) is her hero, and a bad guy (Nicholas Tse from Hong Kong via Vancouver) gets up into the mix. “Are their fates already sealed by a higher power, or can you still choose a life you want?”