Plot: 'The Drummer' is an original and stylistic cinematic feast of sight and sound. It is the first feature film to combine an engaging character-driven story with dramatic action and the stunning art of Chinese zen drumming.
The compelling and emotional story follows Sid, a reckless youth raised in a Hong Kong triad family, who flees to Taiwan upon enraging a mob boss. Hiding out in the mountains of Taiwan, he encounters and joins a group of zen drummers whose mesmerizing art, rigorous physical training, and austere way of life eventually transform him into an extraordinary young man.
Sid's independence from the triad life is profoundly challenged, however, when a twist of fate awaits him back home in Hong Kong and forces him to choose between loyalty to his family and his new found faith in himself...
«The film is an odd hybrid of violent action picture and earnest spiritual odyssey, but somehow it all works. This is partly because of the skill of writer-director Kenneth Bi, who brings ferocious energy to the action scenes and sensitivity to the interactions of the drummers, played by U Theatre, a well-known group of Taiwan artists.»
«All in all, it’s still a gorgeous looking film with good acting from the leads, and not to mention the professional performances by U-Theatre, the real Zen Drummers who come alive when they’re behind their set of drums. Make sure you watch this in a theatre with a booming sound system.»
«Bi injects a fair measure of light comedy, leavening the gangster material and also making Sid a likeable ne'er-do-well. Latter's inauguration into the live-rough community is handled with charm and humor, and tight editing (with copious fadeouts) keeps things moving along.»
«The lushly somber, cello-dominated score also helps to add a spiritual element to the screen, which combined with the supposed mystical properties of traditional drumming techniques to produce an aesthetically-pleasing near-masterpiece.»
«Not quite a genre movie, nor a philosophical one about the glory and mystery of an ancient art, it turns out finally to be quite a pleasant if not terribly original entertainment, thanks to some spectacular drumming performances and the breathtaking landscapes in which most of it takes place. »
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