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The sensitive swordsman Cho Yi-Hang is tired of his life. He is the unwilling successor to the Wu-Tang clan throne and the unsure commander of the clan's forces in a war against foreign tribes and an evil cult. One day, he meets the beautiful Lien, a killer for the evil cult who is equally unsatisfied with her situation, but their love angers both the Wu-Tang clan and the evil cult. Written by
Erik Gregersen <email@example.com>
What do we get if Romeo and Juliet were born in the Ming Dynasty?
The "Bride with White Hair" is often defined as a wuxiapian version of "Romeo and Juliet": indeed it's amusing, as we follow this tale of two warriors united by love but separated by their belonging to opposite clans, to ponder on the many joints with Shakespeare's tragedy.
For half of the movie (i.e. 45 minutes), it qualifies as being one of the most astounding fantasy movies I ever saw: firstly, it captures the spectator by showing beautiful images and settings (and I'm sure Cho Yi-hang [Leslie Cheung] is not the only one who dropped, out of bewilderment, his jaw!). Secondly, it creates an aura of mystery around the female lead Lien Ni-chang [Lin Ching Hsia], an assassin who is not less beautiful than she is deadly with the whip. Indeed, Cho Yi-hang one day accidentally stumbles upon her and, although her face is shrouded by a veil and only her eyes appear to him, inevitably falls for her. Out of trivia, in another movie Lin Ching Hsia reveals just the rest of her face (i.e. masking herself behind a raincoat and sunglasses) and yet spellbinds people - precisely, Takeshi Kaneshiro. Is there any way that people can escape Lin Ching Hsia's charm?
So far for the good points for "Bride": fascinating setting, a clever hero (with an endearing portrait of his childhood included) and an alluring assassin, all surrounded by a thick veil of mystery and folklore.
On the negative side, the second half of the movie. Just as Cho Yi-hang's feelings get corresponded by Lien Ni-chang and we expect that love will provide a new injection of vitality and creativity over the ruthless and cold world they dwell in, the movie sinks into predictability and shallowness: our heroes just don't have the same mutual trust that Romeo and Juliet had and, since their decisions are guided, more than love, by their impulsive nature, I missed being fully emotionally involved into their ending struggle. However, the transformation that overcomes sorrowful Lien Ni-chang is super-cool! 7/10
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