dir. Ang Lee (Lust, Caution, 2007)
Chow Yun Fat (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, 2007)
Michelle Yeoh (Sunshine, 2007)
Ziyi Zhang (Memoirs of a Geisha, 2005)
The first time I saw this movie, I was about ten years younger and I though to myself - Aww dang, a subtitled movie :(
But by the end I was totally engrossed, I forgot that I was reading and just got lost in the story. But I still must have been hopping around my bedroom because somehow I missed that whole romance between Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat, which was lovely and tragic.
It reminded of someone saying, and I probably heard this in another movie, that you have to be even braver to make the decision to be happy, because it's always easier to make no decision and keep being frustrated*. These folks are making the easy choices, choosing to empower the status quo rather than admitting that they would be happier doing something else.
The primary conflict is created by a rogue warrior, the Jade Fox, a woman who turned bad because the teacher of wutan (their flying-around fighting style) kept her around as a consort but would not teach her the secrets of fighting, and so she stole the book and took a wealthy bureaucrats daughter as her apprentice. The student soon outmatches her teacher, but is uncertain whether she want's the pursue the path of her wayward teacher, flee with her true love - a bandit king from the desert - or stay at home and get married. She leans toward the latter option until she get in over her head stealing the sword of Green Destiny.
I'm trying to think of lesson, or to relate this to my own life somehow. Maybe it's something like the way you don't get the chance to make everything right until it's too late. Maybe the important thing was the way the warriors were able to float up walls and fight on the tops of bamboo branches. It might be a metaphor for being untethered to the world, the freedom of being unbound by custom, and yet the inability to create a bond with anyone else. Which might be why the young girl wasn't able to be with her love, because it was too late to undo the things that had been done.
The end was very sad.
* I remembered! It was Kamikaze Girls - A really great movie