Following Pu Yi, the last of the Emperor's of China, from his birth in 1908, through his childhood in the fortress-like Forbidden City and his later misguided collaboration with the Japanese in World War II, The Last Emperor tells the history of modern China through the eyes of the man brought up to believe that he was the country's divine ruler.
Don't miss this
- The Last Emperor review by Swambi
An amazing & unique film, with a story that shouldn't be forgotten. Great filming, great acting, excellent Chinese music, sights and sounds, which seem very authenitic. If you are interested in history, people, other cultures and countries, don't miss this.
'The Last Emperor' is a truly unique film based on a truly unique story. The film recounts the real life story of 'Pu Yi', who at the tender age of three ascended to the throne to become emperor of China. It's an epic story of a man who spent the majority of his life as a puppet of others, who during his lifetime was transformed from the supreme emperor of imperial China, to an anonymous peasant gardener in the communist people's republic of China. The quality of acting is superb, with John Lone's portrayal of 'Pu Yi' being one of the best aspects of the film. Peter O'Toole is equally good and his quiet understated style of acting supports the story beautifully. The direction is stunning with beautifully lavish scenes held within the Forbidden City, and director Bertolucci cleverly manages strike the right balance between being both a big budget epic and an intimate character based drama. If you're not sure as to what disk to rent, the 'theatrical version' or the 'directors cut', the directors cut has around 50 minutes of additional footage which, apart from a couple of scenes, doesn't really add an awful lot to the overall story and at over 3 and a half hours in length is pretty hard work to watch in one sitting. In my opinion the 'theatrical version' is the better film; it's finer paced, easier to follow, and running at 2 hours and 40 minutes, it holds your attention throughout. Overall, 'The Last Emperor' is an outstanding piece of storytelling and both a moving and memorable experience.