Panorama | Special Presentations
Zhang Yimou is back. The man who gave us Hero and House of Flying Daggers now delivers Shadow, another kinetic feast for the eyes. Period spectacle, palace intrigue and fantastic martial arts share the screen in this tale of a kingdom, its military leader and his mysterious double. Deng Chao plays the general as well as his "shadow"—a well-trained look-alike who can fool even the king (Zheng Kai). Also on our hero’s side is his graceful wife, played by the beautiful Sun Li. Add an enemy kingdom to the mix, and the stage is set for explosive confrontation—and a master class in big-budget filmmaking.
From his beginnings as a cinematographer to his overseeing of the Olympic ceremonies in Beijing, Zhang has come a long way; his knack for visual splendour has served him well. Here he brings something new to his body of work: bright colours have been replaced by moody grays and menacing darkness. But the energy is still there: once again, the director has made a bravura crowd-pleaser.