While Christian Bale is the name in The Flowers of War, I feel that the cast add considerably to the gravity of the film. For those that missed its original theatrical engagement, The Flowers of War is a historical drama set in mid-thirties Nanjing (China). Focusing on the atrocities committed during the second Sino-Japanese war, the film follows a rag-tag group of individuals that are struggling to stay alive. A process of self-discovery along with the commonalities enjoyed by the whole of humanity occurs, with an unbreakable bond that is created by the end of the film’s events. Christian Bale’s character, John Miller is placed alongside the political and martial struggles of the Chinese and Japanese.
There are additional features presented here. The behind the scenes that begins these featurettes showcases the beautiful areas in which they filmed, along with providing some semblance of the dynamic that is enjoyed by the cast and crew. The Meeting Christian Bale feature is a rare look into the modern legend, while the “Perfection of Light and Color” featurette showcases the work that went into each shot. The use of chiaroscuro (light and dark) during the film establishes a certain tenor to the film that makes this into a film for the ages. The transfer of the film from the theatrical print to the DVD is sharp, ensuring that viewers will not lose out on the wonderful period clothing or sets. The audio is similarly strong; Lionsgate has hit it out of the park with this one.
The Flowers of War (DVD) / 2012 Lionsgate / 142 Minutes / http://www.lionsgate.com