Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.
To me, this movie is perfection.
Captivating movie !
It's entirely possible that sending the audience out feeling lousy was intentional
A movie that not only functions as a solid scarefest but a razor-sharp satire.
Paul J. Nemecek
Critics have bemoaned the lack of quality in the films turned out in the year just past. With the exception of a few epic films like Gladiator and The Patriot, Steven Soderbergh's two films Erin Brockovich and Traffic, and some lesser known "art films" like Billy Elliot and You Can Count on Me, quality films have been in short supply. The really notable exception to this year's drought is Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.I saw this film over Christmas break in Washington D.C. To say that the audience was captivated would be a significant understatement. On two separate occasions the audience burst into applause in the middle of the film. They don't make them like they used to, but once in a while they make them even better.This may seem like an odd film for Ang Lee whose previous credits include Sense and Sensibility. What makes this film exceptional is that it combines the sensibilities of the romance film with the sensory ecstasy of a ballet. This film is frequently compared to The Matrix and the martial arts choreography is done by the same person--Yuen Wo-Ping. At many points the choreography is closer in style to the kinetic grace of ballet than to the rough-and-tumble action of the traditional fight scene.Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is one of those films that has something for everyone. This is a traditional hero's quest where the central characters are trying to find a stolen sword that has great symbolic meaning for the characters. Unlike most Westerns or Samurai films wherein women are little more than moveable props, the women here are strong central characters in their own right. Romance is really at the center of the film and Ang Lee handles this part of the story with the same graceful unfolding that made Sense and Sensibility such an excellent film. Like The Matrix there are meanings at deeper levels where we find Jungian shadows, Yin and Yang, and almost anything else you want to look for.Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has already won a number of awards including Golden Globes for best foreign language film and best director. Look for it to feature prominently in the Academy Award nominations. It may well become the third foreign language film in the past decade--Life is Beautiful and Il Postino being the other two--to be nominated for best picture. Whatever its destiny at the Academy Awards, this is clearly one of the best films of the year and is definitely worth a look.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden DragonThe action sequences can be inedible for some viewers but one cannot deny the fact about the way they are projected, as they express rage, fury and vulnerability more than the performance can; this is a masterstroke by the makers and the primary reason of its definite impression that it leaves the audience with. The script doesn't bar any specific format and has a newer and smarter structure to offer, that is completely adaptive and enthralling in its own way of storytelling. Ang Lee; the director, has done a tremendous work on executing such an eerie and humane vision of its "meta-human" characters. It is rich on technical aspects like editing, sound department and choreography. The performance unfortunately is not something where the feature scores and the actors, too weren't given enough range and room to flaunt in or factor in except for the lead actress. Despite of brilliant execution, it fails to draw out the essential emotions from the screen which at a certain point, is what it completely relies upon and in the end leaves this hollow space floating in the air. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is actually hidden beneath its self-created legacy that is layered and installed subtly which is plausible but it also never goes loud even when it becomes essential.
I consider myself open-minded, I'm curious about any movie that stirs interest among other people.I've no problems with foreign movies, as long as I can understand them (or can find a decently subtitled edit) I watch them eagerly.So when I say I'm very disappointed by 'Crouching tiger,hidden Dragon' it's not out of prejudice, or for it being unfamiliar with my usual choices.It really is mediocre, considering the budget and the target genre.Cinematography is good (and that's why is 3/10), the rest of it is null or minus.Story is void. The beginning hints some good backstory, which soon turns out absurd and very weak. Scenes follow each other without a real plot.The timing is really bad (seriously, a 20' flashback with nearly NO connection to the main action?).Fights are good, but as many say, nothing special considering other movies of the same era (or older).Character development also is absent. Characters act as some stereotypes out of some ancient romantic poem. Pretty bad idea in an action martial arts flick. It simply does not work, and looks stupid. The only character I found believable and worth of sympathy was Shu Lien, and she was underdeveloped and often left out.To conclusions: many ideas definitely could work, the execution is poor. Bad timing, weak plot, poetry above narration. Mind that if the latter is done properly, it can yield great results. Here its not done properly. Decide: kung fu movie, or poetry. If you wander between, you risk to result ridiculous.
Taiwanese director Ang Lee (THE WEDDING BANQUET, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, LIFE OF PI), perhaps the most versatile film craftsman his country has produced, gives us his take on the martial arts film with CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, a movie, like so many of Lee's works, that is greater than the sum of its parts. Watching this movie is like going on the best thrill ride in the new amusement park in town.The story itself is minimalist in the extreme, centering on a prized sword owned by a great warrior, Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-Fat). He gives it to his friend and erstwhile lover Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) for safekeeping, but it is stolen by a notorious thief, Jade Fox (Cheng Pei-Pei). The remainder of the film is a quest to reclaim the sword, which falls into the hands of Jen Yu (Ziyi Zhang), a disciple of the notorious Jade Fox who appears to have outdone her teacher.The rest is a series of amazing fight scenes (there are a lot of these but somehow this movie never gets boring).I won't reveal any more; the film really has to be experienced.I am not a fan of the genre but this unique example is in a class by itself.