Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
--by Ang Lee
Plot and theme:
Li Mu Bai, a great warrior decides to turn in his sword, the Green Destiny to a treasured friend. When the sword is then stolen, it is up to him to retrieve it. At the same time he is trying to avenge his master's death by the evil Jade Fox. He is joined in his quest by Shu Lien, the un-conceded love of his life. During all of this, they are introduced to Jiao Long Yu, the mysterious and beautiful daughter of a well known family. She is the mysterious link to all these tales. But through all the many subplots, this is in essence, a love story.
-There are mysteries that lie beneath the surface of an otherwise normal-looking individual.
From about the mid-1990s to the first years of the twenty-first century, starting with the mainstream introduction of Jackie Chan in North America, Asian martial arts films achieved something beyond the cult status they once had. It was probably a question of time and perhaps somewhat inevitable that eventually one would go on to garner the kind of awards that indicate a certain level of popular acceptance. That it happened only five years after Jackie Chan’s first US hit, Rumble in the Bronx, is somewhat remarkable.
When Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was released it quickly became one of the most successful subtitle films of all time. It was nominated for 10 Oscars – a record for a foreign language film. There were reports of applause in movie theaters at the conclusion of the first fight and chase sequence along the rooftops. Although it continued a grand tradition of martial arts films involving mysticism, the warrior’s philosophy, and seemingly supernatural powers, this was the first time it was not only seen en masse, but with stunning production value.
If you grew up watching...