The Curse of Turandot, a Chinese romantic fantasy film based on the Italian opera Turandot, debuted in China on October 15.
Directed by Zheng Xiaolong, The Curse of Turandot adapts the fantasy opera by famed Italian composer Giacomo Puccini for contemporary Chinese movie theaters.
The film explores the love story between the cursed princess Turandot and an orphan named Calaf who vows to save the princess by lifting the curse. It stars well-known Chinese actress Guan Xiaotong, as well as actors Hu Jun and Jiang Wen.
Western viewers may be familiar with the movie because of the starring roles given to American actor Dylan Sprouse and French actress Sophie Marceau, the former of whom took to Instagram to speak on his experience while filming.
View this post on InstagramA post shared by Dylan Sprouse (@dylansprouse)
A post shared by Dylan Sprouse (@dylansprouse)
Chinese viewers are not keen on the movie despite its recognizable cast, and they are not shy in showing their disappointment.
On October 17, the topic ‘Use one sentence to describe how bad Turandot is’ (#一句话评价图兰朵有多烂#) began trending on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, stimulating conversations about the movie’s perceived shortcomings.
Some explained that they didn’t like the film because it failed to combine Chinese and Western elements properly. “As a transnational fantasy film, it lost the Chinese components, but it also failed to show Western elements,” film blogger @不知江月V notes.
Image via Weibo
Other netizens, well, hated it.
One netizen wrote, “My friend recommended that I watch this film because it’s so bad that it’s good.”
“I bet 500 RMB that there will not be a film worse than Turandot this year,” echoed film blogger @3号厅检票工员.
The roast continued on Douban, the Chinese review-aggregation website, where The Curse of Turandot had a rating of 3.7 out of 10 at the time of writing.
One Douban user wrote, “This film is worse than the bad examples used in textbooks.”
Another user commented, “I spent 13 RMB on this film, but now I want my money back.”
Nonetheless, some netizens took a more neutral stance.
Content creator @当阿波罗遇到雅典娜 cautioned against focusing only on the negative parts of the film: “Nothing is absolute. There are always two sides to every story. We should not ignore the strength of this film.”
After reading all these bad reviews, do you think it’s worth adding The Curse of Turandot to our list of bad Chinese films? Let us know!
Cover image via Weibo
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