Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Review by Rosie
* * * MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THIS FLICK!! * * *
Director: Ang Lee
Rating: Victory Star Destroyer
This film is based on a series of pulp fiction novels published in the 1920ís. It is set during the Ch'ing Dynasty. A warrior monk, played by Chow Yun Fat, has been the guardian of a mystical sword. He wishes to retire from violence and turns the sword over to the regional governor for safekeeping, but the sword is stolen that night by a mysterious ninja who may or may not be the notorious Lady Fox. This ninja had killed the warrior monkís mentor and he vowed to avenge that death.
The warrior monkís friend, a fellow warrior (and lifelong, but unacknowledeged, love) has befriended a noblemanís daughter, who is soon to be married against her will, and suspects that she is somehow involved in the theft of the sword. A not so subtle appeal to the girlís sense of honor prompts the return of the sword, but a confrontation between the girl and the warrior monk and the girlís governess, the real Lady Fox, places the sword in jeopardy again.
Numerous confrontations between the warrior monk and the young noble woman, the young woman and the warriorís friend, and the warrior and Lady Fox culminate with the death of Lady Fox and the young girlís realization that she is not ready to be the keeper of such a sword of destiny. Unfortunately, it comes at a great price.
Ang Lee did a beautiful job capturing this story on film. The intensity and lushness of the colors and the sweeping motion of the camera over the landscape gave the viewer the sense that it was more fantasy than reality. The martial arts displays depicted in the film were seamlessly integrated into the incredible sequences of the characters running up vertical walls, across broad expanses of water, over the very tops of trees and making impossible leaps also lent weight to the fantasy aspects of the story. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is unlike any other martial arts film Iíve ever seen because of the fantasy element integrated into it, and it is a film I would definitely watch again. I highly recommend it.