7.2/10
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Green Snake (1993)

Ching se (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 4 November 1993 (Hong Kong)
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:
... Siu Ching (Xiao Qing), the Green Snake
... Bak Sei Juen (Bai Suzhen), White Snake
... Monk Fatt Hoi (Fahai)
... Hsui Xien (Xu Xian), the scholar
Ma Cheng-miu
... 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

Plot Keywords:

snake | monk | baby | f rated | snake woman | See All (33) »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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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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Technical Specs

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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

 
Stylish fantasy fun from Tsui Hark.
4 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

Tsui Hark's magical fantasy Green Snake is such a tour de force of stunning visuals and expertly crafted moments of cinema magic that one can easily forgive the occasional dodgy special effect or lapse in narrative cohesion.

Maggie Cheung plays the beautiful titular character, one of a pair of benign female snake demons who have mastered the ability to transform themselves into humans. Her companion, White Snake (Joey Wang), is far more experienced than Green at altering her appearance, and has also managed to acquire human emotions, falling in love with a young scholar Hsui Xien (who is quite unaware that his girl is actually a scaly serpent in disguise).

Desperate to experience the same feelings as White, but unable to control her desires, Green also attempts to seduce Hsui Xien (the lucky old so-and-so), and even tries to seduce a powerful monk, Faat Hoi, whose mission it is to trap demons; this naturally causes all kinds of problems which eventually result in Hsui Xien discovering White's secret.

For the majority of its running time, the lyrical beauty of Hark's tale is more than enough to retain one's attention; even when there isn't much happening story-wise, the film is shot with such style that it is totally captivating. For example, the scene in which Green gatecrashes a Bollywood dance routine while a rain-drenched White slithers off to spy on the scholar might not add much to the plot, but with its lush colours, amazing soundtrack, and Cheung's impossibly sexy performance, it's one of the most memorable cinematic sequences that I've seen.

Towards the end of the film, events do start to become slightly wearisome, and perhaps the film is a little too long for its own good; some viewers may find Hark's leisurely pace a little too slow, whilst others might laugh at the sometimes less-than-effective special effects (the CGI magic crane is certainly very weak). However, the film's positives far outweigh its negatives, and fans of Asian fantasy should definitely seek it out.


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