Film Review of the King of Masks Essay

1657 WordsSep 4, 20127 Pages
“The King of Masks”, directed by Wu Tianming, is a sentimental melodrama with many underlying themes, one of which is the theme of love. The plot of the film, the morals that it teaches, and its impact on the audience all revolve around love. "The King of Masks" centers around the old street performer, Wang, played by Zhu Xu, who is desperately in search of a male successor to inherit his secret art of "face-changing". Fate allows him to meet with Doggie, a young child whose role is heartwarmingly played by the child actress Zhou Renying, who herself was sent away by her impoverished family to join an acrobatic troupe at the age of 3 (Maslin, 1999). The importance of love during harsh times is portrayed through the development of the…show more content…
Another instance of this can be seen when Wang willingly buys Doggie new clothes although he himself was poor and going through hardships as shown by his modest attire and humble riverboat home. When Doggie falls sick and Wang does not possess enough money to buy medicine, he even sacrifices the family treasure which had been passed down to him through generations in order to cure her. This all shows that Wang values Doggie's life and wellbeing more than money and material possessions no matter how important they were to him. These events foreshadow the significance of supporting each other through frugal times, even if it includes self-sacrifice. Doggie is shown to remunerate the old performer's benevolence later on in the movie following Wu's use of foreshadowing. The film explores the subject of mutual need which exists between the old man and the child. The old man needs someone in his life to cure his loneliness and a heir to inherit his art whilst the child longs for a home and compassion (Stack, 1999). Both of their needs are satisfied when their lives cross and they begin living together in Wang's small riverboat home. Wang and Doggie's emotional bonds shown in the initial half of the film seemed almost like that of a real grandfather and grandson, related by blood. Doggie cooks for Wang and scratches his back, an act which is often only exchanged between the closest of family members. Wang accepting this

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