Movie Review: The Assassin
The Assassin looks at 9th century China, where the Imperial Court and the Weibo military are locked in a tense co-existence.
Nie Yinniang (Shu Qi), highly skilled in martial arts, is sent by her master back to her hometown in Weibo to assassinate its ruler Lord Tian (Chang Chen).
But the soft-hearted Nie finds it hard to carry out the mission, letting her emotions get in the way.
Director Hou Hsiao-Hsien moves the story along at an agonisingly slow pace, making the film painful to watch at times.
But credit must be given to the beautifully-shot scenes and stylised swordfights, which would definitely be appreciated by art film buffs.