Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon review
Daniel Corleone - wrote on 08/17/11
The story of Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat), Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Chow), Lo "Dark Cloud" / Luo Xiaohu (Change Chen) and Jen Yu (Mandarin version) / Jiao Long (English dubbed version) portrayed by the nimble and attractive Zhang Ziyi. Due to the gender of Jade Fox, she cannot be taught the Wudang skills and is the murderer of Mu Bai’s master. The sagacious Wudang swordsman Li Mu Bai has troubles professing his true feelings and the strong warrior Yu Shu Lien who is entrusted to protect the sacred sword. Jen abuses the power of the Green Destiny and was able to fall in love with another person, despite her arranged marriage. One of a few insightful quotes: Lo – “A faithful heart makes wishes come true.” Li Mu Bai – “I would rather be a ghost drifting by your side as a condemned soul than enter heaven without you... because of your love, I will never be a lonely spirit”
The film not only boasts an exquisite cinematography, extraordinary/innovative fight scenes, superb score, credible performances, but also it has several significant interpretations as well. Wudan is a place where women are not accepted. There maybe places where this is still existent and the flick symbolize the women competing against the male counterparts. One of the leads mention: “Giang Hu is a world of tigers and dragons, full of corruption.” This is definitely evident in most governments thought the world. The abuse of power (Jen’s act of stealing the sword), lack of confidence/resentment (Mu Bai not informing Shu Lien of his love) and pessimistic outlook of achieving freedom and real love (Jen’s demise in the conclusion) were very apparent. Stunts were done by the artists themselves, which adds to the realism. Even the plot, drama, humor and pace of the story telling were flawless. The type of movie where you need to watch repeatedly to catch the minor details that make it more spectacular in the test of time. An engaging foreign film with innumerable symbolisms, amazing set pieces/costumes, plush locations and solid acting. I believe this is truly a classic epic in every sense.