In ancient China during the Warring States period, Nameless, a Qin prefect, arrives at the Qin capital city to meet the king of Qin, who has survived multiple attempts on his life by the assassins Long Sky, Flying Snow, and Broken Sword. As a result, the king has implemented extreme security measures: no visitors are allowed to approach the king within 100 paces. Nameless claims that he has slain the three assassins, and their weapons are displayed before the king, who allows the former to approach within ten paces and tell him his story.
Nameless recounts first killing Long Sky at a gaming house, accompanied by warriors loyal to Qin, before traveling to meet Flying Snow and Broken Sword, who have taken refuge at a calligraphy school in the Zhao state. He tells Sword that he is there to commission a calligraphy scroll with the character for "Sword" (劍), secretly seeking to learn Sword's skill through his calligraphy. Nameless also learns that Snow and Sword, who are lovers, have gradually grown distant. Once the scroll is complete, Nameless reveals his identity and reveals that Snow and Sky had been together as lovers. He says that Sky was certain Snow would avenge him, challenges Snow to a duel the next day. A heartbroken and angry Sword makes love to his pupil Moon, and is seen by Snow. Snow kills Sword in revenge, and later Moon when she attempts to seek vengeance for her master. The next day, Nameless kills an emotionally unstable Snow before the Qin army, and claims her sword.
MAIN CAST OF THE MOVIE HERO (2002)
Jet Li as Nameless
Tony Leung as Broken Sword
Maggie Cheung as Flying Snow
Chen Daoming as the King of Qin
Donnie Yen as Long Sky
Zhang Ziyi as Moon
MORE INFOMATION ABOUT HERO (2002)
Director Zhang Yimou collaborated with Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle to help realize his plan to divide the film visually into five sections, each dominated by a particular color. Zhang had initially wanted to use different cinematographers and shooting styles, but that proved impractical. Doyle compared their story to Rashomon, as it has an unreliable narrator and stories within stories. The film tells different version of the story of how an anonymous hero in ancient China overcomes three rivals. The stories are dominated by the colors red, blue, and white. The overall framing story is darker with shades of black, and flashbacks are shown in vibrant greens. The colors were chosen for their aesthetic reasons, and not symbolic ones, and the colors orange and pink were not considered as options, and Doyle was dismissive of universal theories of color such as those put forward by Italian cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.
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