WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Farewell My Concubine

Reviewed In Issue 11 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Leslie Cheung, Gong Li, Zhang Fengyi.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3.5
Sound Rating: 4.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Miramax Home Video
(Catalog Number): 2522 AS
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $$39.99
(Running Time In Minutes): 157
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): No
(Theatrical Release): 1993
(LD Release Date): 9/1/94
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Chen Kaige
(Screenplay/Written By): Lilian Lee & Lu Wei
(Story): NA
(Music): Zhao Jiping
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Chen Huaikai
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Pei Xiaonan
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Jade Hsu, Hsu Bin & Sunday Sun
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Hsu Feng

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.80:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo A
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Farewell My Concubine is based on the novel by Lilian Lee and which tells the epic story of two lifelong friends who are destined to become stars in the Peking Opera. Their story begins with the young boys being taught in a rigorous school for traditional acting by strap-wielding sadistic masters. Over the course of time the two friends become great stars in the play Farewell My Concubine, Dieyi as the loyal mistress and Xiaolou as the warrior king. The film is set against historical events in China from 1925 to 1977, and covers the Japanese occupation and the onset of communism, events which both strengthen and rip apart their friendship.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture has been matted at 1.80:1. Images are rendered with oversaturated and distorted color fidelity and fleshtones exhibit an unnatural reddish hue. Shadow detail is poor and the picture quality is further marred by apparent grain and minor artifacts throughout, but otherwise a visual feast of composition, color and light.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is great with enveloping dimensionality in the opera sequences and Chinese instrument sound effects.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: