Tyrania / The Assassins (2012) 

gatunek: Dramat historyczny, LEKTOR.PL

OPIS: Chiny w epoce Trzech Królestw. Pochodzący z dynastii Han cesarz Xian (Alec Su) bardziej niż o zachowanie wpływów dba o muzykę i poezję. Wkrótce po dworze rozchodzi się plotka, że generał Cao Cao pragnie zdobyć tron. Otoczenie Xiana zaczyna planować zamach. Walka o władzę wchodzi w decydującą fazę.

PLOT: The film is set in China in the late 210s — the years preceding the end of the Han Dynasty. In the earlier two decades, Cao Cao had defeated Lü Bu and other rival warlords to gain supremacy in northern China. In 216, Cao Cao is granted the title of a vassal king, „King of Wei”, by Emperor Xian — the figurehead Han sovereign controlled by him. He constructs the Bronze Sparrow Platform as a showcase of his power.

Lingju is the orphaned daughter of Lü Bu and Diaochan. She, like many other orphaned children of Cao Cao’s enemies, had been recruited in her childhood by Cao Cao’s rivals to be trained as assassins to kill Cao. She meets Mu Shun, who protects her while she is in training and falls in love with him. Mu Shun is castrated at one point. Lingju and Mu Shun eventually find their way into court life: Lingju is taken by Cao Cao as one of his mistresses while Mu Shun becomes a palace eunuch.

Throughout the film, there are two major attempts on Cao Cao’s life. The first is masterminded by Empress Fu Shou and her father Fu Wan. This plan fails and Cao Cao has the conspirators (including the empress) executed in front of Emperor Xian. The second is a revolt led by the imperial physician Ji Ben and his supporters, but the rebellion is swiftly crushed. There is a brief scene showing that Cao Cao suspects that his son Cao Pi is involved in the assassination plots.

Mu Shun fails in his attempt to kill Cao Cao, who reveals that he knew all along that Lingju is planning to assassinate him. Cao Cao promises to spare Lingju’s life. In return, Mu Shun disguises himself as Cao Cao and rides out of the city, only to be mortally wounded by Lingju, who mistook him for Cao and stabbed him with her father’s weapon. Lingju later commits suicide to join Mu Shun.