brave little soldier

[Warning: Spoiler ahead]

Sometimes, the biggest sacrifice comes from those people think of so little.

Ever since “The Great Wall” was announced more than a year ago, I was already looking forward to seeing it. I admit that it was due to Lu Han’s inclusion that made me interested in the movie. Though I know his role won’t be that big, I knew I just have to see him in it.

I was curious what character Lu Han would play. The story was set during one of China’s dynasties and it was a story about war. What could he possibly play? Then they said that he would be a soldier and I laughed at the ludicrousness of the idea. How could a sweet, boyish young man become a soldier during the said era? Then they said that he would be a soldier who was weak and cowardly. Again, I laughed. That character would indeed suit him.

I know it’s mean of me to think of him in such a way, but I just couldn’t help but be realistic.

So the time finally come to watch the movie. I don’t know what I was expecting. I know Lu Han had a small role and yet his name and face is all over the movie poster – out-billing the two Hollywood actors who have more scenes in the film. I just don’t want the reason to be marketing (no one can argue that he’s one of the most bankable Chinese celebrities).

Anyway, as expected, Lu Han only had few scenes and even fewer lines. Just like what Matt Damon said in his interviews when asked about Lu Han, the boy acted with his face and eyes really well. Upon seeing the movie, I understood what he meant. Without much dialogues, everything the Lu Han’s character has to say was conveyed on his face – the shame, embarrassment and frustration.

It might sound biased but Lu Han’s character has more dynamics than the rest (probably aside from Matt Damon’s). In the span of 1 hour and 55 minutes, Lu Han’s character evolved (not drastically but just right) from being a cowardly soldier into a brave one. He didn’t become a soldier who suddenly knew how to fight just because he faced his fears – that won’t be realistic. However, he became a soldier who gained enough courage to help fight the war (thanks to the few encouraging words from Matt’s character that he didn’t understand).

So, Lu Han’s fate in the movie was actually really noteworthy. I even felt bad for him. But at the same time, I was proud of his character. The brave little soldier.