To start with, the movie was very interesting to watch. It represents several plot twists and also symbolizes the aspect of social dominance. The aspect of social dominance presented in the movie can be associated with the idea of the animal kingdom where there are the king and his followers. In the movie, this is implied by all the individuals working towards winning the king over. The kind of cultures implied in the movie is odd to me and vary in a great way with my culture. The following is a reaction discussion to this movie.
In the movie, there is a young woman, referred to as Songlian, who becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, Chen Zuoqian, at the age of 19 years. She does this after the death of her father, and it is completely against her will. Her initial aspirations are to discover the wider world, given the fact that she is educated. Her marriage to the king takes place shortly after the death of her father takes place, leaving them bankrupt. In my view, it is as a result of the family being bankrupt that Songlian’s mother decides to sell her to the wealthy lord as a concubine. It is the right of every person to choose the person to get married instead of being sold as a concubine against one’s will.
When Songlian arrives at the home of the wealthy lord, she is treated like one of the royal individuals in the family. She receives sensational massages and also a red lantern is lit. This is then followed by a visit by her husband, Master Chen, and his face is not clearly shown in the movie. This kind of treatment is recommended when one visits a new place, and it must have made Songlian remain calm even though she was forced to marry Master Chen. After a while, she realizes that it is not all the concubines who are accorded such kind of a treat.
In the movie, it is the master who decides the concubine to spend the night with, and the concubine who is chosen gets the advantage of being given a luxurious treatment. This is the reason as to why there is the aspect of competition for attention in the movie. All the concubines tend to constantly compete for the attention of their husband and also his affection. This is not the kind of life people in the current era wish to live in and in my view if Songlian is given another option rather than getting married to the old master she would quickly take it. Individuals are supposed to get married to one wife in most cases, but if they have to be more than one, they are not expected to compete for their husband’s attention and affection. Also, it is expected that they should be given equal treatment. This is the opposite of what is done in the movie, and it does not abide by what I believe in.
The first mistress is known as Guru, whose age is quite advanced like that of the master. The second one is called Zhuoyun and acts well to Songlian as she gives her an expensive gift and goes on to warn her about the third mistress, Miesha. After some time is when Songlian discovers that Zhuoyun is the one to be avoided. She pretended to be a nice person, but that was not truly who she was. This bit shows the theme of pretense, where Zhuoyun is pretending to be a nice person to Songlian with the intention of wanting to use this opportunity to have all the best to herself. It is hard for the mistresses to befriend each other due to the perks which they get when they sleep with the master. They all want to receive the perks at all the time, and that is the reason why they are in constant competition to please the master.
There is a theme of order in the movie. The person with the highest power and who has control over all the individuals in the palace is the master. Then the concubines have some charge after the master. After the concubines, the next individuals in power are the servants. Order is maintained since everyone knows their place and what is expected of them and the fact that anyone who goes against the rules is punished. One instance in which a person is punished for wrongdoing is when the Mieshan is executed for sleeping with the doctor. Punishment and rigid customs are what drives a strong social order and conduct. This is an important aspect in any community where different individuals have to be accorded their due respect.
It is as a result of the customs that Songlian becomes the fourth mistress to the king and accepts to take part in the “games” of pleasing the king together with the other three mistresses. For example, the custom of receiving luxurious treatment after sleeping with the master lures Songlian into taking part in the game. One incident which proves this incident is how she imagines that is her legs being massaged when she hears some noise as one of the concubines gets massaged.
The fourth mistress gets so well with the game such that she at some point fakes pregnancy to attract the king’s attention and win favors and affection from him. It is later realized that she is just playing games, and her mission fails terribly. In my view, the four sisters are each minding about their goodwill without putting the others into consideration. This implies that it is only the individuals who are consistent who will win the masters attention.
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