Years ago, the kingdom of Pei lost the important city of Jingzhou to the kingdom of Yang after the popular and brilliant Commander Ziyu (Deng Chao) lost a duel to the infamously unbeatable Yang Cang (Hu Jun). The cowardly king of Pei (Zheng Kai) is enraged after discovering that Ziyu has challenged Yang Cang to a rematch without authorization and demotes Ziyu to commoner status despite the objection of other military officials. The king offers to marry his beloved sister Qingping (Guan Xiaotong) to Yang Cang's son Yang Ping (Leo Wu) to maintain peace between the two kingdoms. Yang Ping makes an insulting counteroffer to take Qingping as a concubine, which the king accepts despite the disgust of Qingping and General Tian (Wang Qianyuan), who openly shows support for Ziyu and is consequently demoted by the king.
It is revealed that Commander Ziyu is in fact a man named Jingzhou; the real Ziyu was severely wounded in his past duel with Yang Cang and is recovering in a hidden cave in his residence, a shadow of his former self. Jingzhou was secretly adopted for his uncanny resemblance to Ziyu and trained from childhood to be his "shadow"—to serve as his body double in the likely event that his life is threatened. Only Ziyu and his wife, Xiao Ai (Sun Li), are aware of this arrangement. Jingzhou is forced to act as Ziyu's proxy in the public eye and must train to beat Yang Cang in his place while Ziyu plots the recapture of the city of Jingzhou and his own ascension to the throne from his cave. Ziyu promises to let Jingzhou return to his home and mother in the case that he is victorious over Yang Cang.
MAIN CAST OF THE MOVIE SHADOW (2018)
Deng Chao as Commander Ziyu
Sun Li as Xiao A
Zheng Kai as King Peiliang
Wang Qianyuan as Tian Zhan
Hu Jun as Yang Cang
MORE INFOMATION ABOUT SHADOW (2018)
Shadow was celebrated by critics upon its release, with many praising its cinematography and set design. On the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 94% based on 102 reviews and an average rating of 7.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Beautifully filmed and inventively choreographed, Shadow is a thrilling and visually sumptuous wuxia epic that finds director Zhang Yimou near peak form." On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 81 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
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