5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Being True to Oneself Amidst the Chaos,
This review is from: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [DVD]  (DVD)
Quite the perfect film ... So many elements combine to keep the viewer mesmerized. The exotic scenery of ancient Chinese cultural life hook the imagination. The forces of good and evil battle directly in society and within the souls of the characters. There are underlying esoteric elements which make the story mysterious and provide for surprises and unexpected but deeply satisfying viewing moments from beginning to end. The yin-yang conflicts between various characters provide the romantic see-saw that captures the reader's interest. A highly regarded warrior who defends against evil has reached a point in his life where he relinquishes his famous and feared sword, "The Green Destiny" to discover and explore deeper aspects of himself and life ... At some point, he had gone into a deep meditation and arrived at a place his master had never mentioned nor described. Later, his master had been murdered and the warrior could not ask him to explain this experience. He has a female protaganist who is also a warrior and accepts the solitary nature of this fighter but clearly they share strong emotional bonds. This repressed chemistry promises their paths will continually cross as they explore the depth and meaning of strong feelings throughout the film. She delivers "the Green Destiny" as a gift to the local magistrate/governor of the province for safe keeping. The magistrate has a daughter who is being prepared for an arranged marriage ... to consolidate the interests of two ruling families ... Hidden aspects of the daughter's character provide for unexpected adventure and romance ...
Secretly, the daugher had learned warrior skills and longed to express this independent aspect of herself ... but she lacks the personal understanding of the esoteric nature of this lifestyle. On a carriage ride with her family through the mountains and arid deserts she is captivated by an invading group of bandits, especially the leader who is young and handsome and has a mysterious reputation. He grabs her ivory hair comb as she leans fearlessly out the carriage window to watch the assualt. She unexpectedly jumps out, mounts a horse and shows remarkable skills during the chase scene ... all to retrieve back her hair comb. He captures her and takes her to his mountain cave home ... they fall in love. He tells her stories and allegories which serve to bind her even closer to him ...
The forces of evil are embodied in the form of Jade Fox who was a servant and nanny to the wealthy Chinese daughter in the past. Jade Fox had acquired a book from which she learned the warrior skills but she failed to use the skills wisely. She lashes out with vengence at the forces of good. The author's creativity and exceptional talents come alive on the screen. The hair-pin curves and twists in the plot are executed with perfection. The ending is sadly fulfilling ... leaving the viewer breathless! Erika Borsos (bakonyvilla)