The Banquet

Watch The Banquet

"Nothing is more poisonous than the human heart."
  • NR
  • 2006
  • 2 hr 11 min
  • 6.4  (7,119)

The Banquet is a Chinese historical drama directed by Feng Xiaogang and released in 2006. The movie stars some of China's most celebrated actors, including Ziyi Zhang, You Ge, and Daniel Wu. Set during the Tang dynasty, the film is based on Shakespeare's Hamlet and is an elaborate tale of love, betrayal, and revenge. The story begins with Emperor Li (You Ge) being poisoned by his wife, Empress Wan (Ziyi Zhang), with the help of her lover, General Wu (Daniel Wu). After the emperor's death, his son, Prince Wu Luan (Daniel Wu), who is in love with Empress Wan, is forced to flee the palace to avoid being killed by his mother, who now sits on the throne. With the help of his loyal advisor, Qing Nu (Zhou Xun), Wu Luan plans his revenge against his mother and her lover.

The movie is a visual feast with stunning costumes, elaborate sets, and beautiful cinematography. The Banquet is a perfect blend of Chinese opera and Shakespearean tragedy, with its ornate costumes and melodramatic dialogue. The film's opening sequence, a sweeping aerial shot of the banquet hall filled with soldiers and princes, sets the tone for the grandeur and opulence that follows. The sets are equally impressive, with the palaces, gardens, and battlefields all recreated in exquisite detail.

The acting in The Banquet is exceptional, especially from Ziyi Zhang, who portrays the conflicted Empress Wan with great depth and nuance. You Ge, as the tragic Emperor Li, delivers a moving performance that captures the character's agony and despair. Daniel Wu, as the vengeful prince, is both charming and menacing, while Zhou Xun, as his loyal advisor, is both wise and compassionate.

The music in The Banquet is also noteworthy. The film's score, composed by Tan Dun, blends Chinese and Western classical traditions, creating a sound that is both haunting and beautiful. The film's music is a perfect complement to the grandeur of the story and enhances the emotional impact of the film's key scenes.

Overall, The Banquet is a grand, emotional, and visually stunning film that offers a unique blend of Chinese and Western traditions. The movie's extravagant sets, ornate costumes, and melodramatic storytelling make it a feast for the eyes, while the superb acting and beautiful score make it a memorable cinematic experience. The Banquet is a must-see for fans of Chinese cinema and anyone who appreciates grand, epic storytelling.

The Banquet is a 2006 fantasy movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

The Banquet
Where to Watch The Banquet
The Banquet is available to watch free on Vudu Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Banquet for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 11 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (7,119)