TIFF 09: First Look At Maggie Q And Joe Odagiri in THE WARRIOR AND THE WOLF
As any regular rerader of this site will know, we are big fans of Japan's Joe Odagiri around these parts and loyal followers of his career. And Odagiri has been on a bit of a world wide tour of late, taking on roles outside of his native Japan, one of the longest brewing and most interesting being Chinese epic The Warrior And The Wolf, in which he stars opposite Maggie Q. For a film with two such high profile stars, this one has been keeping a remarkably low profile on the market circuit and snuck in to the lineup of the Toronto International Film Festival so quietly that I honestly missed the initial announcement. But not now! We've just been passed our first look at stars Odagiri and Q in the film and the look is absolutely gorgeous. Hit the link below to see a much larger version after seeing how the festival describes the film below.
In the Era of the Warring States, before the unification of China, thousands of soldiers are dispatched to fight the enemy and conquer nomadic tribes. Sent to remote regions at the edges of the known world, the soldiers encounter many adversities, and the brutal challenge of survival often brings out the worst human instincts. But valiant Lu Chenkang (Joe Odagiri) belongs to a different breed. He is brave, loyal and extremely skilled in the art of war. Nevertheless, he is kind-hearted and averse to murder. Though he has a pet wolf cub, he keeps his own animal instincts at bay.
When his commander and friend, General Zhang Anliang (Tou Chung-hua), is badly wounded just before the incipient winter, Lu takes over command of the troops. Forced to find shelter in the village of the mysterious Harran tribe, he discovers a beautiful young woman (Maggie Q) hiding in his refuge. A widow shunned into solitude, she has a fierce personality and fights Lu in every way she can before surrendering to his passionate embrace, having fallen for him against her better judgement. She seems to possess the strange ability to take his mind to a place where memories collide with dreams and legends - a place where humans were once wolves.
The convincing performances of Maggie Q and Odagiri - two of today's most beloved Asian stars - bestow a touch of modernity to this epic tale of wild humanity. Painted with a wide palette of emotions by a master of cinema, the story unfolds at a quiet, pensive pace that stands in stark contrast with the violence of the battle scenes. Aesthetically thrilling and wonderfully passionate, The Warrior and the Wolf is a treat for the eye and an enthralling journey into a magical past.