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Musings from the Edge of Forever

Note: This blog expresses only the opinions of the blog owner,
and does not represent the opinion of any organization or blog
that is associated with RONIN ON EMPTY.

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green

Green Snake

Maggie Cheung has never been as mischievous nor as sensuous as she is playing the title role in Tsui Hark’s 1993 film, Green Snake. Adapted from Lilian Lee’s novel, Green Snake retells the story of Madam White Snake from the perspective of her younger sibling, Qingqing (Maggie Cheung). The main storyline involves two snake spirits — Qingqing and her older sister, Madame White Snake herself, Bai Suzhen (Joey Wong) — who assume human forms to experience the pleasures of the human world. Along the way, Bai Suzhen falls for a scholar (Wu Xing-Guo), and their inter-species love affair sparks the ire of repressed Buddhist monk (Zhao Wen-Zhou). Of course, a showdown proves inevitable.

Although the main baddie is a Buddhist monk, the film’s primary conflict should easily cross cultures, particularly to US shores. Let’s see, Green Snake features an oppressive fundamentalist who will stop at nothing to stamp out the freedom to love whom one chooses and narrowly views those he considers as different as sub-human or sinful….hmmm, wonder what THAT could parallel in modern American culture?

 But Green Snake isn’t really a message movie per se — there’s a lot of fantasy action, cheesy effects, and flat-out wacky moments. Above all, it’s really worth checking out due to Maggie Cheung’s charming presence and Tsui Hark’s over-the-top approach to just about every single thing in the movie. Sadly, they don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

Final Grade: B+ (2007/2011)

For a more in-depth look at the film, check out Kozo’s review.


One Response to “It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Green”

  1. QQ Says:

    Green Snake remains to be one of my favorite HK movies of all time. Somehow I feel if the whole Chinese fantasy genre ever gets revived, it will never be the same since most of the themes involve freedom, acceptance of different beings, humans less superior race, death and general sexiness (i.e. Chinese Ghost Story, Butterfly Lovers)

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