Red Cliff is based on the famous historical battle 赤壁之戰 that happened sometime in the winter of year 208. 曹操 with his vastly superior army and navy, set upon the comparably weaker 東吳 ruled by a young ruler 孫權 who had just formed an alliance with 劉備 to dispel 曹操 whom they thought was trying to dethrone the young and useless emperor. This battle shows how a smaller weaker force overcome a larger one through schemes, wits and trickery. Also, this battle marks a point in history where the country was divided into three warring states thus beginning the time of 三國時代.

Pls click here if you wish to know more about this event.

I had waited in anticipation for this show ever since i got to know who-is-who for the casting. The supposedly cool, calm and brilliant 諸葛亮 is portrayed by the ever so yantao 金城武.

Was actually kinda disappointed when i saw 諸葛亮 flustered at the beginning of the show. My impression of him is, he is always in control of the situation and there is almost nothing that can un-nerve him.

周瑜 (梁朝偉)

In the novel, 周瑜 was a petty man who although was much more brilliant than his peers, could never outwit 諸葛亮. Not so in this show, at least for part one.

孫權 (張震)

趙雲 (胡軍)

Didn’t think that 胡軍 was the most suitable actor but he did impress me. Is a more important character than his master in this show.

劉備 (尤勇)

They always cast someone who looks ever so ordinary to be 劉備 simply because 劉備 was someone ordinary. He was not as good a fighter as his sworn brothers 關羽 or 張飛, nor was he as clever or knowledgeable as 諸葛亮. He existed because of his benevolence towards the common people.

曹操 (张丰毅)

Also portrayed differently from the novel in which he was the ultimate baddie. Scheming, suspecting and a very good battle commander, the 曹操 in the show is no different except he is very humsub as well.

關羽 (巴森扎布)

Dunnoe anything about the actor. He carried the role pretty ok in my opinion. However, the director likes to show him rushing towards the battle in the same pose and i felt that perhaps too much was done trying to show 關羽 in a fashion that most people would expect. A bit fake.

張飛 (臧金生)

Also another unfamiliar actor to me.

甘興 (Nakamura Shido, 中村 獅童)

The way he pronounced words can tell that he is not chinese. Funny to hear something like that in a chinese epic.

孫尚香 (趙薇)

What did she see in 劉備 anyway?

小喬 (林志玲)

The supposedly 5min bed scene with 周瑜 was nowhere to be seen. 33.3% was terribly disappointed with the bandage scene poor singaporeans are getting. Disappointing if you are watching this show because of her.

曹操’s substitute for 小喬 (who cares?)

1) Storyline – 22 / 30

Was kinda disappointed because the story went along kinda slow and a lot of stuffs were added in, perhaps to lengthen the show or to take the focus away from the battles.

2) Entertainment value – 19 / 25

Was expecting to see some intellectual exchange between 諸葛亮 and 周瑜 but there were few. There are a few times in the show where it was meant to be funny but i wasn’t sure. Before entering the theatre, i expect to see a something serious. During the show, i could be forgiven for thinking it’s a comedy.

3) Cast – 16 / 25

The actors weren’t bad. In fact, they are some of the most experienced actors around the industry. I didn’t quite like the arrangement of the roles and actors because i had some expectations (because of the novel) so it was not really the director’s fault.

4) Pace / Flow – 14 / 20

As i mentioned before, the show could have gone to the main battle on the river had not been for some scenes which is unnecessary in my opinion. Sad that i have to spend more moolah to finish the whole show.

Overall: 71/100

This show falls short of my expectations but should be interesting for those who have not read the novel or history books. Recommended if you are not planning to catch 林志玲 in the bed scenes.

This show pales in comparison to “The Dark Knight" i watched couple of days back. Although similarly at two and a half hours long, i enjoyed “The Dark Knight" tremendously while struggled a bit at 赤壁. I now understand that i am not enjoying the show when i catch myself looking at my watch too often.