LOVEFiLM Review: Empire of the Sun (1987)

Based on J.G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel, Empire of the Sun stars Christian Bale as a spoiled young British boy, living with his wealthy family in pre-World War II Shanghai. During the Japanese invasion, Bale is separated from his parents. With the help of soldier-of-fortune John Malkovich, Bale learns to survive without a retinue of servants at his beck and call. By the time Malkovich and Bale are tossed into a Japanese prison camp, the boy has picked up enough street-smarts and developed enough intestinal fortitude to regard his imprisonment as an exciting adventure. The story ends during the 1945 liberation: on the verge of manhood, the 13-year-old Bale will never again be the pampered, privileged brat whom we met in the early scenes.

Some say that this is Spielberg’s first proper foray into “emotional blackmail”. We saw this on full display during War Horse which I didn’t buy one bit.

With Empire of the Sun there was a real reason for me to get sympathetic towards the character, and it worked. I very much enjoyed the film and the Christian Bale blew my mind – he was superb. The story was great and so was the music. This goes under ‘good Spielberg’.

One Response to “LOVEFiLM Review: Empire of the Sun (1987)”
  1. Pete says:

    What’s up, I log on to your new stuff regularly.
    Your story-telling style is awesome, keep doing what you’re

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