Recently, revivals and remakes of movies have been flooding the entertainment scene. China’s new film “The Curse of Turandot” is certainly no exception. Based on the 1926 opera “Turandot,” the movie aims to recreate its grandeur.
But just how authentic is it?
Background: The Opera “Turandot”
Written in 1924 by Puccini and first performed in 1926 in Milan, the opera is filled with riddles, death and love. “Turandot”’s plot centers around Princess Turandot of the Great Khanate and the “unknown prince” Calaf.
To have Princess Turandot’s hand in marriage, three riddles must be answered correctly.
Riddle 1: “What is born each night and dies each dawn?” (Hope)
Riddle 2: “What flares warm like a flame, yet it is no flame?” (Blood)
Riddle 3: “The ice that gives you fire, what can it be?” (Turandot)
If the riddles are answered incorrectly, death soon follows the suitor. This challenge makes Princess Turandot more desirable and also gives her the title “cold princess.”
Additionally, this “cold princess” title explains the answer to her last and most difficult riddle.
Prince Calaf answers all three riddles correctly, astounding the princess. However, since this prince is so unknown, the princess refuses to take his hand in marriage. Thus, he poses his own riddle to the princess:
“If before morning you can discover the name I bear, I shall forfeit my life.”
The answer: love.
Adapting to Film: “The Curse of Turandot”
With today’s technology, the adaptation of virtually any older work is possible.
“The Curse of Turandot” was recently released in Mainland China in October 2021. The cast itself was largely international with actors from China, America and Taiwan. The costuming is similar to a lot of patriotic movies in China and similar fantasy dramas.
Americans may recognize one of the main actors. That’s right, Dylan Sprouse from “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” stars as the unknown prince Calaf.
During its opening weekend in China, "The Curse of Turandot" earned a total of 2.3 million dollars! However, an American release has yet to be announced. But because of Dylan Sprouse’s popularity in America, this movie has the potential to be a hit!
Would you go see “The Curse of Turandot” in theaters? Let us know in the comments below!