Updated: 2012-06-18 09:36
Two opposing rebel leaders, Liu Bang and Xiang Yu, sit in a banquet room. Though they would make great allies, one is determined to kill the other. In a classic set-up, this tense standoff takes place during a chess match.
The 2011 film "White Vengeance" reproduces this scene - the most famous banquet in Chinese history, and showcases the battle of wits and courage between the two rebel groups led by Liu and Xiang, based on the real historical characters.
In Qin Dynasty, the powerful Emperor Qin dominates central China, imposing tyranny on common people, while the officials do nothing out of fear. Finally, the people can no longer stand the oppresion, and start uprisings across the country.
The two heroes Liu and Xiang are Generals under King Chu-Huai. They are outstanding leaders, and are joined in their struggle by other talented, ambitious freedom fighters.
The King Chu-Huai is well aware of the two heroes' wild ambition and leadership abilities. Knowing they will soon be uncontrollable, he plots to turn the two against each other. He decrees that whichever one of them occupies the city of Xianyang first will be crowned a small king.
Liu reaches the city first through hardships, and Xiang hurries his huge army to Xianyang later. Considering the situation, Liu's assistant, Zhang Liang suggests retreating from Xianyang.
Fan Zeng, Xiang's assistant, senses that Liu stills wants to be King, so he advises Xiang to invite Liu to a banquet, and then assassinate Liu. This plan is overheard by an old friend of Liu’s group, who warns Liu about the trick planned for him.
Though Liu knows he is walking into an ambush, he decides it is better to go than to wait where he is to die, because if he goes there might be a small chance of survival.
On the day of the banquet, Fan Zeng has already arranged everything, and is determined to kill Liu. Zhang Liang and Fan Zeng are playing a game of chess – Zhang hopes to delay the murder for long enough for a special pardon from the King Chu-Hai that would save the day.
Zhang Liang loses four games, and the atmosphere becomes very tense. Xiang Yu's sword is almost at Liu's throat when the decree arrives, just in the nick of time, and Liu is saved.
Some think that the plot in this movie appears shallow compared to the true history, as it exaggerates the legendary battle of the wits, and fails to reflect deeply on the humanity and history behind the tale. But others think it is a high-quality historical film.