Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Reviewed by: hiddendragon on 2001-10-22
Summary: Tomorrow...I'll kick over Hollywood!
A beautiful, simple story that said everything with Zhang Ziyi's eyes. I didn't know what to expect, but when I saw the first trailer on tv, I knew this was the one movie I had to see. I watched it more than once in the theaters -- didn't want to watch anything else, because nothing else playing at the time even came close or captured my imagination. Thanks to Crouching Tiger, I've basically dumped the Hollywood scene for the most part and have embarked on a journey through the world of HK/Mainland/Taiwan movies. It's hard to "go back." Even the lightweight movies are more entertaining than the overdone special effects w/ no substance. One thing that I see a lot of w/ these movies is that they "show" and don't "tell." I prefer to understand a movie from the context of the characters' actions or expressions rather than have everything explained up front!

I tend to defend Zhang Ziyi's character in this movie. I think Yu Jiao Long was looking for a way out of what she might have seen as an impending life of misery -- and that she had tasted that freedom -- and was caught between needing real direction and an outlet for her skills -- but not wanting to be strangled by society's rules for her. Getting married under those conditions meant giving up everything she dreamed of. She was never fully committed to one course of action and didn't even have a real plan when she went off to what eventually became the restaurant scene. Some say she was a "selfish brat," but it seems she only became one when she was facing the watershed event of her life. Hotheaded and impulsive yes -- but able to control her urges and live out her fantasies through the novels she read.

I'm looking forward to more movies like this or other period pieces, and I'm hoping that a lot of us "Westerners" will go on to appreciate movies that aren't necessarily tailored to "our tastes" but focus on the story.