A dramatic history of Pu Yi, the last of the Emperors of China, from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City, the object of worship by half a billion people; through his abdication, his decline and dissolute lifestyle; his exploitation by the invading Japanese, and finally to his obscure existence as just another peasant worker in the People's Republic.
Cast & Credits
I thought it was a great movie that was able to portray Puyi's life and the background of China's history perfectly! I recommend to anyone who is interested in learning more about China, and especially if you are taking a class on China's history. Even if you're just interested in watching a good movie, this is for you! It is able to hit your emotions without over dramatizing things and just keeping it real! Also, you get to see inside the Forbidden City which is absolutely stunning! This is actually the first film ever that was given permission to film inside of the city, so take advantage of this and watch it!
The only complaint i would have with it, is there were a couple unnecessary scenes in my opinion, but I guess others may enjoy them as well. Also, I haven't read them, but I recommend reading the book Twilight in the Forbidden City which has additional information.
The Last Emperor follows the life of Puyi through a long part of China´s 20th century, so it´s an amazing journey across the great changes of that period of time, we can see that in social general portray, but most important, we can see all those changes in a single person. Puyi is an amazing character because at the very beginning when he is locked in the Forbidden City is really pitiful because of his lack of freedom and because he represents the fall of a great period, the fall of a long time of dynastic power. But as he grows up he changes into this person you just can judge as a normal person with imperfections.
Music is also great as it marks differences between the traditional China inside the Forbidden City, and a country outside that place which had to endure a lot of drastic and sudden changes, so we listen to both: traditional Chinese music and western music.