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House of Flying Daggers 2004 / An extraordinarily beautiful wuxia romance, though a bit convoluted

7.4

If there’s one thing to say about House of Flying Daggers, it’s that it’s absolutely, absurdly, downright beautiful. The sets are lavishly designed, the landscapes are gorgeous, the colorful costumes are elaborately embroidered, the fight and dance choreography are breathtaking, every shot is colorful, and even the three leads in the love triangle are some of the most beautiful Chinese actors of the time (maybe, perhaps, of all time). That being said, some viewers might find that the beauty of each scene isn’t enough to carry through the film’s fairly convoluted plot, with everyone lying to each other all the time. There’s a thread here about being ordered into actions that would later be used to condemn you, and the way love intersects with that is fairly romantic stuff, but House of Flying Daggers doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights it could have had with a more streamlined script.

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