The Soong Sisters (1997)
Reviewed by: MrBooth on 2001-10-09
Summary: Sumptuous
THE SOONG SISTERS (1997) - Epic historical piece covering the lives of 3 sisters from a wealthy family, each of whom would have an impact on Chinese history throughout the 20th century. Older sister Michelle Yeoh marries a rich banker (her story isn't covered much), middle sister Maggie Cheung marries the infamous Sun Yat Sen (leader of the first revolution and the Communist Party), and youngest sister Vivian Wu marries his successor and rival (Chiang Kai-shek), leader of the Nationalist party. Maggie's story gets the largest screen - she is an idealist who cares about her country and the revolution above all except her love for Sun Yat Sen. This love causes conflict with her father that nearly tears the family apart. Vivian Wu just dominates the second half of the film - power is her main motivation for marriage (and envy of Maggie). The politics and the history of China's struggles with revolution, invasion and corruption are well balanced with the family lives. It makes for very interesting viewing. The production is lavish - great sets, costumes and make up etc totally create the impression of the times the movie covers. The cinematography & sound are very atmospheric. It's well written too, and for once we get perfect English for the subtitles! They're still small (Chinese & English burnt in), but at least they carry the mood of the piece well. The soundtrack is only available in Mandarin - I don't know if that's how it should be, as obviously it means that Maggie & Michelle have been dubbed by somebody else. Recommended regardless.

MrBooth's Movie Review Website - The 14 Amazons