Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Banquet

I have just finished watching Hamlet in Chinese (Mandarin). Well, it was called The Banquet and is now called Legend of the Black Scorpion for a re-release, but you start to notice as it hits the main events of the play. The players changed roles in places, a death prescribed to one took hold in that one's opposite instead of that one's counterpart. A few made it out alive who did not even make it to the final bloodbath in the original. Er, I think. There was still quite a bloodbath to be had.

A few of the pieces of Hamlet included felt a little bit of a stretch, but perhaps that's because I had realized by those points in the movie. The moment that lead to realization did fit. It was the play within a play, which has become rather common, but then you remember the dead emperor and the o'er hasty marriage between the emperor's brother and his widow and you realize what this particular play will be about.

I think the old title fits it better. It did, in a strange way, encompass the events in a way that was easy to describe. It served as a good metaphor for the film. The new title is just designed to make it sound exciting and thus encourage purchase. It has far too many contemplative moments to be trying to sound as something so obviously dangerous outwardly. This is devious, the danger hidden. The scorpion just happens to supply the poison.