The Deaf and Mute Heroine

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A superbly rendered fantasy, dominated by brilliantly handled tussles of sheer wit and ingenuity (rather than muscle power) as the heroine of the title disorientates and confounds assailant after assailant. Wu Ma sustains his idealised world with almost as many visual sleights-of-hand as his heroine, having his camera actively recoil from the entrance of a giant knight (whose face remains unseen for a whole sequence, and who has attained the state of weightlessness) to perch somewhere near the ceiling, or filling the screen with a diffuse flood of red which, for a moment, the eye is unable to interpret: is it a pool of blood or merely a floating scarf? The climactic conflict, too, is fought out in a genuinely dreamlike atmosphere.

By: VG

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