When a friend put “Empire of the Sun” on the list, I immediately thought of this band: Click here if you want to get a catchy tune stuck in your head. Alas, the film wasn’t about a band, a catchy song, or walking on a dream. It was the EXACT opposite! Despite that, I still really loved “Empire of the Sun” and was pleasantly surprised that it starred a child Christian Bale. If you haven’t seen this film either, beware! This post has major spoilers.
Here is a quick, heartbreaking synopsis (with GIFs!) of the movie:
-It’s 1941. Jamie lives with is family outside of Shanghai. He’s British. He’s rich. He’s obsessed with airplanes. (He’s adorable.)
-While Jamie and his family are trying to flee China, Japan attacks. He get’s separated from his parents and this is where I start the cry fest.
-Now separated from his family permanently, Jamie has to find a way to survive in a country at war. He links up with Basie (played by John Malkovich) who uses Jamie more than he helps him. I cry some more.
-They eventually end up at a Interment camp right next to a Japanese airbase. Lots of other really messed up and sad stuff happens. People die. I get up and go get tissues.
-Ben Stiller makes an appearance and it cheers me up juuuuuuuust a little bit.
-American air fighters fly in to destroy the Japanese airbase and Jamie freaks out. This kid LOVES airplanes. He’s also probably a little screwed up from the “getting separated from his parents and living like a vagrant” thing. Who can blame him.
-Then, Jamie drops this bomb shell (pun intended). Water works back on in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… SOBS!
-The camp is evacuated the next day. The prisoners (including Jamie) begin traveling by foot many miles away and then the atomic bomb drops.
-Not knowing where to go, Jamie returns to the Interment Camp where he meets up with a Japanese boy he befriended earlier in the movie. While they are talking (as much as they can with the language barrier) Basie and Co. show up and shoot the Japanese boy. Jamie tries very hard to resuscitate him, but the boy is dead. Tears!
-Abandoned once again, Jamie remains at the camp until discovered by American soldiers. He ends up back in Shanghai in a orphanage. Then, his parents show up looking for him in a sea of sad children faces. Oh man… my chin is quivering…
-They eventually find Jamie. Jaded and ruined by war, it takes him a minute to realize who they are. But, when he does… it’s… so… emotional! *blubber*
Give me a minute to compose myself…
Not sure I could sit through “Empire of the Sun” again anytime soon, but I’m happy that this one was on my list. Also, if you are interested in seeing a 13 year old Christian Bale in his first TV interview about this movie, click here. He was such a cutie pie!
My official reaction: