Wong Kar Waiâ€™s ‘The Grandmaster’, a film that took a decade of preparation and nearly four years of filming, finally opened in China, Hong Kong, and Macau cinemas last week. It has been more than five years since the acclaimed Hong Kong director released his last feature film,Â ‘My Blueberry Nights’, which starredÂ Norah JonesÂ andÂ Jude Law, and nearly nine years since his last Hong Kong film,Â ‘2046‘.
Film critics originally questioned Wongâ€™s ability in producing kung fu epics, as the director is mainly known for his works on pensive, arthouse films. However, Wongâ€™s $300 million HKD film ended up exceeding expectations. Mainland Chinese moviegoers flooded to the theaters on its January 8 release date. In mainland China, the film grossed 29.8 million RMB on its opening day Tuesday. In Hong Kong, the film earned $1.8 million HKD on its January 10 release date.’Â The Grandmaster’ has since grossed more than $225 million HKD in the Greater China box office, succeeding ‘2046â€²sÂ record in 2004.
‘The Grandmaster‘, a biopic of Wing Chun legend Ip Man, centres on the conflicts between Northern and Southern Chinese martial arts.Â Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Wongâ€™s longtime collaborator, portrays Ip Man.Â Zhang Ziyi portrays Gong Er, the confidant daughter of Gong Baolin (portrayedÂ by Wang Qingxiang), a baguangzhang master from the Northeast. To protect her familyâ€™s honor and to avenge for her fatherâ€™s death, Gong Er travels to the South to challenge Ip Manâ€™s southern martial arts. Chang ChenÂ co-stars in the film as the special agent, Razor.Â Song Hye-kyo stars as Ip Manâ€™s wife, Cheung Wing Sing.
‘The Grandmaster’Â opened in Hong Kong on January 10 to great ovation and success. Numerous Hong Kong film entertainers have expressed their excitement and appraisal of the film through their Weibo, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Among the most enthusiastic critic was fellow Hong Kong director and competitor,Â Wong Jing, who chose to challengeÂ ‘The Grandmasterâ€™sÂ Hong Kong box office with his gangster film, ‘Young and Dangerous: Reloaded’, which was also released on January 10. Wong Jing wrote, â€œI am very, very impressed. Since 1988 until now, this is the first time when I felt like I have truly lost.â€ Chapman To,Â Leo Ku,Â ‘Ip Man’ directorÂ Wilson Yip, andÂ ‘You Are the Apple of My Eye’Â director,Â Giddens KoÂ have all praised the film in their respective social media sites. ‘Love in a Puff’ director, Pang Ho Cheung, wrote, â€œThe GrandmasterÂ in two words? A masterpiece.â€
‘The Grandmaster’Â will open in Taiwan on January 18 and Singapore on January 31.