7.2/10
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Green Snake (1993)

Ching se (original title)
Two snake spirits become human and learn about love and suffering. A monk discovers his own weaknesses and finds that morality is not as simple as he had thought.

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(novel) (as Lillian Lee), (screenplay) (as Lillian Lee) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Joey Wang ...
...
Hsing-Kuo Wu ...
Ma Cheng-miu
Feng Tien ...
Spider
Chan Dung-Mooi
Kong Lau ...
Blind Monk
Shun Lau ...
Old Monk
...
Bharata Natyam Dancer (as Najma)
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Storyline

Two snakes reformed into two beauties. White Snake chose pedagogue Xian Xu as her husband and enjoyed human life, while Green Snake played around every day. Jealous to White Snake, Green Snake kept on flirting with Xian Xu. Xian Xu eventually found they were snakes ... After being tempted by Green Snake, monk Fahai decided to imprison the two "monsters". He kidnapped Xian Xu. A battle began ... Just then, White Snake borned her new baby. What should monk Fahai do? Adapted from an old Chinese folk story but quite different from the original. Written by Zheng Wang <zhwang@das.harvard.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 November 1993 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Green Snake  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Panda and the Magic Serpent (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Dance of Sunlight
Music & Lyrics by James Wong
Performed by Shu-Hua Chen
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User Reviews

 
"Green Snake" - One of Tsui Hark's best
6 May 2007 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Tsui Hark is one of those director's that sort of polarizes his audience. You either go along with his loopy, unique directorial style or you get angry at him. Other directors like him are Sam Raimi and Takeshi Miike. They all go where their muse takes them regardless of where the movie is at the moment.

The film tells the story of two giant magical snakes who decide to experience human emotional life. We first encounter them while a super powered Buddhist is searching for evil spirits to destroy. He starts to attack them but relents when he discovers that the snakes are sheltering a pregnant woman in labor from a torrential downpour. The snakes enter the local town and one, White Snake, chances upon a bureaucrat who catches her fancy. The two transform into human form, create a mansion by spell and lure the bureaucrat there. White Snake falls in love with the man, marrying him, while Green Snake, her sister, has problems understanding the human emotions her sister is so capable of enjoying. Green is also having a hard time hiding her true snake self from her sister's husband. It gets complicated with the monk entering the picture once again with bad consequences for all.

First of all, this is a story that fully compliments Hark's style. Unlike other films of his that I felt were compromised by his experiments and vaudeville style, here it almost all works wonderfully. The fantastic characters and action of Chinese mythology are colorfully illustrated here. The art direction and photography is excellent as well. Music score is great.

I felt the film was a commentary on religious rigidity but clearly this production has many meanings to different viewers. That's a sign of a good movie. Recommended.


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