Movie of the Day – A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop

Have you ever thought to yourself that while you were watching the sublime Coen Brothers film “Blood Simple” that there would be a different take on the film?  Maybe wondering what it would look like if say a famous international director decided to pay tribute to the movie with his/her vision of the story line?  Well folks your prayers are answered as Zhagng Yimou decided  that Blood Simple needed to be remade with some Asian period piece flair and today I will talk about the exciting and wonderful remake, A Woman, A Gun and A Noodle Shop.

Noodle Shop 1a

Love, betrayal, and murder take root in the deserts of China in this comedy drama from filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Wang (Ni Dahong) is an ill-tempered tyrant who runs a noodle shop not far from the Great Wall. Wang treats his employees like dirt and isn’t much friendlier to his long-suffering wife (Yan Ni), who soothes her nerves by having an affair with Li (Xiao Shenyang), one of Wang’s cooks. The wife would like to take Wang out of the picture, and one day she gives Li a gun, suggesting that he kill Wang so they can live in peace. A crooked cop named Zhang learns about the plot and tells Wang about the lovers, offering to kill them for a price. The next day, Zhang returns with evidence that Wang’s wife and his cook have been shot, but shoots Wang before he can pay him. Zhang is about to empty out Wang’s safe when he discovers he wasn’t the only one with a plan to double-cross the despised noodle baron. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

I got to hand it to Yimou for making a movie that is inspired by Coen Brothers pic, especially one as great as Blood Simple.  While not a direct remake, there is a lot of elements in this movie that make it very inspiring to watch, seeing a great director give a creative twist to another great directors movie.  Yimou brings a more technical and showy side to this movie, as he does with his other flicks like Hero and House of Flying Daggers, the imagery is staggeringly beautiful with such finely accented scenes of landscape and set design.  If anything, I think this movie looks gorgeous and very fitting to Yimou’s style.

Noodle Shop 1b

But this isn’t all about the set design and look, while marvelous, the movie does have a certain lively kick to it with some moments of comedic and subtle quips.  It really strives to have it’s own identity and Yimou, along with the actors each bring something special to their roles.  The comedic moments for me work well, like watching a Coen film, and the actors certainly fit their roles perfectly such as Yan Ni and Ni Dahong in their respective roles.  Their is little moments of humor that burst through some of the scenes and it’s interesting to watch Yimou try and incorporate a Coen Brothers style humor with close-ups and whimsical things like sight gags and tempered settings.

This movie certainly came well under the radar of a lot of people, as do most foreign releases.  But this came across my Netflix one day and I had to take a look at it.  If you want to compare both this movie and Blood Simple. the Coen’s is far superior to this one, but as a stand alone movie, A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop works really well.  It has the base story down, the acting is solid, the visuals are stunning and Yimou tries something a bit different and I can appreciate that.  This movie isn’t certainly a critic favorite with a low, low rating, but I took a chance on seeing someone try their hand at making a Coen-esque movie that I ended up loving the end result.  The execution could have used a bit more working on with the story overall, but the whimsical acting and set pieces really make this enjoyable for me.  Give it a look, especially if you are a Yimou fan.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

3 Responses to Movie of the Day – A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop

  1. mistylayne says:

    I haven’t seen Blood Simple but I will watch this one for the title alone.

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