Review: “The Grandmaster.”

Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster is infuriating in a specific way. It’s the kind of misfire that only a top filmmaker could achieve. There are sublime shots – the period cinematography endlessly evocative – and Kar Wai’s script brings the same quiet melancholy that defines his earlier work. But for all its peerless style, there are several crucial misfires. None of the characters speak in actual conversation; Kar Wei’s script instead relies on elliptical riddles and metaphor. The action sequences are poorly edited, so there’s no way to tell whether they’re well-choreographed. The titular Grandmaster was a real person who eventually became a national folk hero, and Kar Wei bends his superlative life into an obscure, maddening art school narrative.

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