Hero Analysis

1:31:42 to 1:34:02

The film “Hero” by Zhang Yimou was released in China on 24 October 2002 then later on released in American theatres on 27 August 2004. The film’s setting was set in Qin Dynasty when the first empire was established in China. In the scene that I have chosen Broken Sword had already fought with Flying Snow and he has sacrificed life to prove that in his heart Flying Snow is just as important as the world Broken sword was trying to protect. With the symbolism of white, use of sound, and technical camera work we can interpret the deeper meaning about duty, honour, and love.

Zhang Yimou uses the four colours, red, green, blue and white, to tie in four different segments of the story, each of them emphasizing the difference between each segment between the stories. In the romantic shot where Flying Snow was hugging Broken Sword by the cliff they were shown to have finally reconciled like lovers, though throughout the entire film Flying Snow and Broken Sword represented as two opposing views on the reigning of the King of Qin, Broken Sword believed he could end the warand bring peace to the empire while Flying Snow wanted to avenge him. So in this particular scene it was not only a reconciliation between lovers but a unification between two opposing views. The use of white in the film represents a neutralistic world implying that there should no longer be a fear for war because all the is left is peace. The white also represent the draws attention to the death of the main two character as white is used as a funeral colour in Ancient China. Contrasting to the colour of desert their costume which is all white seemed to imply unification to express the wish for unification between the six states and the empire living in peace. After the close up shot of the death of the two main characters, the camera pans out in an elevated angle giving us a full view on the background desert view, as the camera expands further away from the couple giving the audience a feeling that their even though they have sacrificed their life in the end instead an anticipation to the viewers knowing that they have unified the empires and there is more to come after their sacrifice.

Additionally, language and music plays an important role in the scene. The music which sounds serene and tranquil contrasts to the chaotic emotions Flying Snow had been experiencing as she pierced the sword through Broken Sword, it really creates an oppressive emotion in the viewer. Flying Snow’s loud cry accentuated the emptiness and hollowness of the desert as if implying that her heart was just as hollow as the off-screen space. “I’ll take you home. To our home” implies the final unification between two opposing characters.

The film “Hero” is not the same as any of the other martial art films made in China which are mostly about endless wars and fights with the main protagonist winning in the end, while in “Hero” the main theme is compassion towards the people who live in the empire and their sacrifices for peace. The film illustrates how cruel life of individuals who want unification, and that the sacrifices they made is nothing compared to the importance of the empire.

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