Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Rating:

A Symphony of Honor

Main Cast: Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Chang Chen, Zhang Ziyi

Director: Ang Lee

A perfect blend of somewhat dreamy, exaggerated action of both fists and swords, and a complex, political plot full of unique characters with their own agendas, this movie delivers a powerful punch and succeeds in telling a tale of both hope and sadness.

We meet Li Mu Bai (Fat), a legendary warrior, who has decided to retire from violence and pass on his blade, the equally famous Green Destiny, to an old advisor and friend. During the trip he runs into Yu Shu Lien (Yeoh), also an old friend and perhaps something more, or at least something “that could have been”, if not for preventing circumstances. Things turn mysterious when the blade is stolen by a masked figure in an exciting night chase over the rooftops, and the rest of the movie centers on the quest for the blade, as well as settling old disputes and dealing with shaky relationships, both in and out of family.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is far more than the plot, for the sword, while powerful, is mostly a symbol for the struggle of personalities, loyalties, and motives surrounding it. The action, while exciting, is dreamy and clearly magical in nature, defying physical laws to deliver a “dance of combat”, perfectly performed by all the skilled actors.

This is a great film, deep in tradition and plot, mixing sadness and hope, and I recommend it highly.

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