Chinese film:Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 卧虎藏龙 ~ Chinese Movies&TV

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This kung fu-love tale by Chinese-American director Ang Lee was quite a curious phenomenon back in 2000. It was a highly acclaimed, commercially successful hit in the West, raking in nearly US$130 million in ticket sales in North America alone, propelling Zhang Ziyi to international stardom. In China, it was coldly received and dismissed by moviegoers as choreographically and verbally ridiculous.

To see completely different reactions from two cultures was not surprising. For Chinese, it was rather bizarre to see the lead characters in what would be a shut-up-and-fight film engaged in so much romantic nonsense while flying around most of the time like superman. Western audiences thought the love subplot added much to the characters’ development and were fascinated by the gravity-defying fighting sequences.

Nevertheless, Lee’s approach gives not-often-seen depth to a sword-wielding, punching and kicking picture. Master Li Mu Bai, Yu Shu Lien, Jiao Long and Luo Xiao Hu are so humane and credible characters that one can feel related to them in some way. Meanwhile, the fascinating choreography does not only enhance the story-telling but also gives it a surreal touch. The film’s costume, cinematography and soundtrack are also top notch. All these factors set the film apart from its peers.

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