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Movie Review: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

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Source: Wikipedia

Plot Summary (Taken from IMDB): Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.

My Review: One of the best things about this film is the characters. Not only are they well acted, but they are people who make you either care for them and root them on or make you what to see what will happen next. Key characters include wise and righteous swordsman Li Mau Bai, the maternal and strong swordsman Yu Shu Lien, the lost and physically skilled swordsman Jen Yu, the merciless swordswoman Jade Fox, and the resourceful bandit Dark Cloud.

Another great aspect of the film is the plot. Together, the key characters tell a story of the need to be free from corruption, emotional burdens, and traditional values. The main theme of the story is freedom and it is shown in such a way that anyone can relate to it.

Besides the characters and the plot, the fighting scenes are amazing. While the actors use wires to fly through the air and bounce off walls, it doesn’t come across as over the top. Instead, the use of wires adds grace and excitement to the fights, so that there are moments that look magical. An example is one scene that occurs when two of the characters are fighting in a bamboo forest. There are moments when move so gracefully that they become as flexible as the bamboo themselves as they fight.

In addition to the characters, plot, and the fighting scenes, the cinematography is lovely at times. Certain scenes are shot so well that they make the characters and the events taking place striking. One example is a climactic fight scene that occurs between Shu Lien and one other character.

A final notable aspect of the film is its soundtrack. Composer Tan Dun and cellist Yo-Yo Ma made beautiful pieces that heighten the emotions of certain scenes. For instance, the piece on the soundtrack called “Night Flight” has drums that elevate the tension and action that is going on at the time. Another piece “Yearning of The Sword” highlights the beauty and sadness that comes with the weapon.

Overall, this was a magnificent film that put the art in martial arts. If you enjoy martial arts films or want a great action-adventure film, I recommend this film.

Written by Serena Zola

January 12, 2015 at 9:00 AM

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