Saturday, September 25, 2004

A Review of Hero

On reflection, the profoundly interesting thing is that we never see the hero of Hero fall. We see only his empty outline on the wall, bordered by arrows. And then we see his funeral procession, in which a shape, like a body, is covered by red, carried by a military cort├Ęge that accompanies his *body.*

But in the first tale, red is the color of the the story that is too simple, the story that is rejected by its failure to account for the known facts by the wise man, who is also the tricky man, the Emperor, the Machiavellan man. But Nameless, testing the Emperor's mettle, tries to foist it on him; the Emperor rejects it because it doesn't suit the facts he already knows.

And so, the implication is that he fell, because how could a great king with an army of hosts upon hosts be defeated by one Nameless Warrior.

Yet, it's entirely possible he warded off the arrows with powers we had seen before and thus escaped the ceaseless rain of arrows; and Nameless, nameless lived out his life elsewhere. That's the photo negative of the story that is implied to us at the end. In a movie that revels in images, but also in storytelling revisionism, there is an essential piece of the tale missing.