In early nineteenth-century China, in the waning years of the Qing dynasty, the renowned swordsman who yearns for enlightenment, Li Mu Bai, decides to give up his legendary Green Destiny sword: the sharp four-hundred-year-old blade of heroes. To mark the end of a blood-stained career, Li entrusts the excellent female warrior, Yu Shu Lien, with the precious weapon to deliver it to Governor Yu; however, once there, an audacious and nimble masked thief manages to steal it. As Shu Lien is hot on the trail of the skilled burglar, unrequited loves; fervent passions; an unconquerable desire for freedom, and bitter loose ends stand in the way. Can Mu Bai shake off his violent past?Written by
The film holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a foreign language film along with Roma (2018) with 10 nominations. Additionally, it shares the record for most Oscar wins by a foreign language film with Fanny and Alexander (1982) and Parasite (2019). All three films won four awards. See more »
(at around 1h 7 mins) When Jen stabs Lo with the arrow in Lo's cave, blood trickles out from a spot about two inches above the injury. See more »
Master Li is here! Master Li is here!
See more »
The opening title appears in Chinese and English. See more »
When aired for the first time on television in Australia (Sunday, 12 September 2004) on their free-to-air international channel SBS, SBS used their own international translators to subtitle the movie from scratch, resulting in quite a few changes reflecting character names (some different spelling, most directly spelt from their Mandarin forms and not changed/altered into more Western forms), and a much closer, 'truer' explanation of events and people than the 'dumbed-down' translation of other DVD releases offer. See more »
As a film student living in Toronto, I look forward to the Toronto International Film Festival every year. Last year, the highlight of the festival for me was American Beauty. This year, it would have to be (so far) Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".
Being of Asian descent, I've seen my share of wu xia genre movies to last me a life time. However, most of them are so centred on the fighting, that they forget the rest of the elements that are involed. The movie turns into one long scripted fighting scene with maybe a slight hint of story. Crouching Tiger, on the other hand realizes these issues, and builds these oh-so entertaining action sequences into an epic with typical asian themes such as true love and honour.
Being an epic, one would expect the usual long takes and establishing shots, and boy does it ever look beautiful. Traversing through a myriad of regions spanning the lengh of China (from the deserts to bamboo forests, to mountains high in the clouds), the film soley based on its asthetic properties is nothing short of stunning. The lighting of different landscapes and the exquisitly designed costumes all radiate with stunning colour. And then there's the cinemetography. Wow! The backdrops, establishing shots look absolutely marvelous. If your jaw dropped when you saw Rome and its coliseum in Gladiator, wait until you see ancient Beijing recreated on the screen!
Okay, so it's a good looking movie. What about the story? The complexity of the plot is rather sparse, probably reminiscent of epics such as Braveheart or Gladiator, which is by no means a bad thing. Although both Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeo did have major parts, this movie belongs mostly to Zhang Ziyi who IMHO did an amazing job playing a very complex role (one which required her to represent nobily as a princess, naivness, as well as show inner strength). Mainly concentrating on her unwillingness to give in to the ideals of an arranged marriage, the decently written script adds a story of an old warrior trying to retire and a 300+ year old sword.
All in all, this film blends story, well choreographed action, and a stylistic eye to create a mythilogical piece that not only represents the wu xia genre justly by doing it well, but also contributes to raising the quality of filmmaking usually applied in the making of a similar type of film.
62 of 99 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this