Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Blood Brothers (1973)

Starring Ti Lung, David Chiang, Chen Kuan-tai dan Ching Li; Blood Brothers was loosely based on an historical event in Nanking 1870: the assassination of Ma Shin-yi, a regal official who contributed in destroying Taiping rebellion.

Huang Chang (Chen Kuan-tai) and Chang Wen-hsiang (David Chiang) initially were petty bandits. They met Ma Shin-yi (Ti Lung) and wanted to rob him, but he was stronger than them. Then they joined forces and since Ma was the most intelligent and ambitious, he became their leader. The three killed the leader of a nearby group of bandits and became the new leaders. Huang's wife, Mi Lan (Ching Li), saw that Ma was a real man with bright future, unlike her illiterate husband. Ma realized that his relationship with Mi Lan would become dangerous, so he left the group early to take the royal exam. Ma passed the exam outstandingly and became a royal officer. He was promoted again and again.

L-R: Huang, Mi Lan, Chang
Two years after Ma left Huang and Chang, he finally sent emissaries to pick them up. Now a general, Ma needed their help to defeat the long-hair bandits. All this time, he turned down every marriage proposals because he could not forget Mi Lan. He believed they were in love. Like the story of King David and Uriah, Ma sent Huang in a mission and on the way, Ma's henchmen killed Huang. Chang, who knew about the forbidden love affair, killed Ma to revenge his sworn-brother.

The last supper:
Ma tried to avoid Mi Lan by leaving earlier for the royal exam
Chang was arrested for killing a high-level official. He told the story to the judge, but the judge gave him to Ma's men. Ma's men tied Chang to a post and disemboweled him. Mi Lan watched this punishment from her room while remembering the happy times.

If only Ma was not wounded after helping Huang,
Mi Lan would not have an opportunity to seduce him.
The movie was told in flashbacks. In the beginning of the movie, Chang was already arrested. The story was told in Chang's point-of-view.

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