7 September 2004, early evening

Hero is an absolutely gorgeous film. Each scene in Hero looks absolutely exquisite. The colours, the framing, everything. It’s basically perfect. The story is simple, and told in a Roshomon type fashion. A hero is given an audience with a tyrant king in order to narrate to the king how he managed to slay 3 deadly assassins who were bent on killing the king. The fight sequences are great. Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung can do no wrong. They seem to play couples in so many movies they do together. Jet Li is excellent in the film as well. It is sad to see how bad the roles he gets in North America are when you see his Asian films. Go watch this movie.

Read reviews of Hero at Rotten Tomatoes



  1. a lot of meaning got lots in the translation of that film. the soundtrack is nice, done by the “crouching tiger” composer

  2. You be surprised how much of your understanding of a movie does not come from characters’ dialogue. When I saw the movie 2 years ago it was subtitled in Japanese, but my friends and I had little difficulty understanding the movie. So to say that a lot of meaning got lost (or could get lost) in the translation may be a bit of an overstatement. The movie’s recursive narrative did initially cause us some confusion though. Anyway, I wonder if the North American subtitles are the same as the ones on the Japanese DVD.

  3. Sure, you can get the jist of the movie, and understand the overall plot without the dialog, but the movie wasn’t much about plot as it was about the individual characters in the movie and how their values and belief systems clashed. A lot of the idealogies and metaphors in the film have no real equivalents in the english language. I saw both the mandarin version and the subtitle one, and i have to say the subtitles doesn’t do the movie justice. Hero is not a martial arts movie

  4. Translation isn’t about finding equivalents so much as it is using the available resources to express the idea. With that in mind, what are some examples from the movie where the meaning of the dialogue was lost in the subtitling?

  5. I think English is a lot more varied and sophisticated than people usually give it credit for. However, subtitles probably shouldn’t leave you reaching for the dictionary. That might be part of the problem. If there even is a problem. I don’t know.

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