Film Review For Devils On The Doorstep & Clockwork Orange

3132 words - 13 pages

影视评论与写作Film Reviews & Writing Assignment 1

Devils on the Doorstep鬼子来了

“Devils on the Doorstep” is a film released in the year 2000. It was directed, produced and starred in by Jiang Wen. Other notable actors include Kagawa Teruyuki, Yuan Ding and Jiang Hongbo. The film was categorized into the black comedy and dark humor genre of films. It premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival and was shot in black and white.

Plot Summary

In a small village called Rack-Armor Terrace in Hebei near the Great Wall of China, there lived a local peasant called Ma Dasan (played by Jiang Wen). One night, a man unexpectedly barges into his home and drops off two men in gunnysacks. He holds Ma Dasan ...view middle of the document...

A bitter argument ensues and the village decides to hire an assassin from town to kill the prisoners. Ma enlists the help of an old man known as One Stroke Liu (played by Chen Qiang), a former Imperial executioner. He is told that being beheaded by Liu feels like a passing breeze, and that the severed head will roll six times on the ground, blink three times, and smile in a gesture of gratitude for such a painless death. However, Liu fails to harm either prisoner with one stroke. Claiming that it is the will of Heaven, Liu leaves with the prisoners uninjured.

After spending this amount of time with the villagers, Hanaya grew to feel gratitude towards the villagers. He promises to reward the village with two wagons of grain should he be released. The villagers agree and return the prisoners to the Japanese Army encampment in the nearby town. However, the Japanese Army has already made Hanaya a war hero and believed that he was killed in battle. By returning alive after being a prisoner, Hanaya has shamed the Army. The commander of the encampment, Captain Inokichi Sakatsuka (played by Kenya Sawada), gives Hanaya a merciless beating but feels honor-bound to fulfill the agreement between the latter and the village. Captain Sakatsuka and his men bring a great bounty of food and wine to the village and hold a feast there that evening, as Ma goes off to fetch his lover Yu'er (played by Jiang Hongbo) from a neighboring village. During the feast, Captain Sakatsuka demands to have the man who captured Hanaya. He also paranoidly accuses Ma of sneaking off to fetch resistance fighters. The village was unable to convince him otherwise and he orders all villagers to be killed and the village to be burned. Ma and Yu'er return on a raft only to find the entire village in flames. Meanwhile, Hanaya is about to commit harakiri before being stopped by Captain Sakatsuka and informed that Japan has lost the war and surrendered.

After the Chinese National Revolutionary Army takes back the area, Dong is publicly executed for collaborating with the enemy. Ma, bent on revenge, disguises himself as a cigarette vendor and loiters outside the Japanese encampment, now converted into a POW camp. When two Japanese soldiers come out to buy cigarettes, Ma hacks them with an axe and breaks into the camp, killing more POWs. He finds and pursues Hanaya, but is brought down by guards before he could kill him. Major Gao (played by David Wu), commander of the Chinese Army contingent administering the town, condemns Ma's act as too despicable to deserve death by the hands of a Chinese soldier, and instead orders a Japanese POW to carry out the execution before a massive crowd. Captain Sakatsuka hands a katana to Hanaya, who takes careful aim before delivering the fatal strike. As Ma's head falls to the ground, it rolls six times, blinks three times, and smiles, just as 'One Strike' Liu's victims were supposed to.

Premise

Jiang Wen approaches “Devils on the Doorstep” with a...

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