The last empire may just be facebook as a kingdom that has its emperor who writes like a Lord. He lords over other entrants , guides them but at some point of his intiation he must have found a master to make him capable and able to deal with the inside and outside world.But he has to overcome a lot of kingdom blues and inability to find escape from the lordship thrust upon him frustrates him, as he is even unable to go attend his mother’s funeral.He throws his pet’mouse’ at the hallowed gates of the forbidden city and kills it. Then marries, finds a consort alongside. Lives a seemingly normal playboy life for sometime.The wife is ignored and consort addicted to opium tries to spoil the wife too, before conspiring to overthrow him and let her movie maker paramour take over. The movie-maker paramour rules for a while, then is overthrown and the emperor strikes back.The wife who lost a baby and had run away, returns to spit at every phantom of the forbidden city and locks herself up.
However, the forbidden city ie facebook lures him back towards the end of his life. He himself,meanwhile,gets into trouble because of his anti-establishment posts and wants to reform everything at first, then falls in line but rebels again only to be questioned and jailed with his phantoms.The phantoms tie his shoelaces for him, kowtow to his order and commands. The wife who lost a baby and had run away, returns to spit at every phantom of the forbidden city and locks herself up.
The emeperor turned ordinary citizen finds in the end that the teacher in jail is now at the receiving end and he wants to save him from the new regime but fails.
All this told in the context of a facebook group or blog group or corporate group in an alien land can seem true. How a son is sent away while he is still teething, having taken birth into the corporate world and lands up in alien land, away from his mother , where he’s taken care of by a gaurdian nurse (girfriend akin to a wet-nurse), where he loses her, then dreams of flying away somewhere, is unable to go back to his motherland to attend his mother’s funeral, is being honed to take over the throne in the corporate office. Is advised to get married by aunts and oldies in family in order and is given a maid too. Then the saga of feeling trapped in a jail, wanting to fly to some other land because back home, the political situation is in such a turmoil, may be even hostile. How he transforms into a playboy when he finally finds some freedom in another forbidden land, perhaps more liberal or even more distant to his roots, how the women get spoilt and drowned in the spider trap of luxury. And so on.
The Last Emperor is supposedly a movie about the last emperor of China’s kingly dynasty before China became a republic. But the goggles I wear made me believe there are kings everywhere and servants ready to kowtow too only to tie up your laces the wrong way so that you are at the receiving end when their revolution overthrows your kingdom while they smile and take your spit, only to jail you with phantoms that weave a spidery web around your existence.
The gorgeous scenes had more to do with the sets and costumes than anything else. The story and its intricacies were not so delicately dealt with in details or let’s say, it was a very bland, neutral portrayal of history, without taking sides or even making a comment. It was a careful depiction of what happens, not revealing, however, how it happens.
The actors sleep-walked through their roles and a dream sequence came to end without touching any chord in your mind or heart, as if any nerve wracking moment could bring in the floods.Or the director doesnt want you to know that drama is possible in the life of not so innocent. It could very well have been titled–The innocents.
Watch it, if you know it, otherwise you might get bored. Its an old movie, I know but I am just beginning to learn cinema.