Curse of the Golden Flower – During the 10th century prior to the Festival of Chrysanthemums, intrigue takes place within the sumptuous crimson and gold palace of the Emperor Ping (Chow Yun Fat) of China as his ailing empress (Li Gong) attempts to circumvent her husband’s plan to have his first son Wan become crown prince. The empress for three years has seduced Wan, whose birth mother had preceded the current empress, as part of her effort to install her own son Jai as heir to the thrown. By order of Emperor Ping the emperor’s physician’s daughter has been giving the empress poisoned medicine. The physician’s wife reveals this secret to the empress. Wan has fallen in love with the physician’s daughter. After the empress tells Jai of his father’s guile, he faces an impossible choice, similar to Orestes of Greek tragedy. More long-suppressed secrets come to light. The carnage with martial-arts ballet that follows is more spectacular than the gratuitous video violence we saw in 300.
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