Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Butterfly Lovers (武俠梁祝)

I Need A Lift

Jingle Ma took a huge leaf from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and incorporated major plot elements into what is essentially an update to the film version of the Chinese literary classic of the Butterfly Lovers Liang Shan Po and Zhu Ying Tai, so much so that you'll see Paris and the Friar whose concoction you'll come to expect to play a huge part to their star-crossed romance.

While it's the usual romantic girl meets boy and the whole plethora of forbidden love, parental obligation and rivalry all rolled into one, what's probably the most lazy aspect of the film, is the martial arts portion. Although it has Ching Siu Tung's input, it came off as rather lazy in execution, with nothing that would wow you, where you can see shades of sequences coming from even movies such as The Bourne Ultimatum! Worse, the finale battle involved plenty of pretty poses framed specifically for aesthetics (rain always add a certain degree of gravitas) and if I wanted to nitpick, the hero's wearing some pretty indestructible clothes.

Charlene Choi was just, well, Charlene Choi, and her natural feminine and cute looks doesn't help her character try convincingly in being a guy. Wu Chun, in his feature film debut, didn't have to try too hard too in being the heartthrob big brother of the Ease Soul Clan. All in all, it should appeal to fans of either stars, and those of Harlem Yu's, who had a supporting role here. Otherwise, you might be better off with the Tsui Hark version which stuck more closely to the Oriental story rather than the English one.

You can read my review of Butterfly Lovers at by clicking on the logo below.


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