Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
October 26, 2013
In the semi-mythic China familiar from the swordplay martial arts genre, the theft of a treasured sword sets in motion a dizzying series of plots and counterplots involving warriors, thieves, aristocrats and assassins, with a pair of love stories at the film’s center. Lee renews the wuxia genre simply by taking it seriously, hearkening back to King Hu’s classic work that imbued the wuxia film with realism and a stylized but restrained visual style. As in Hu’s films, the women are at the center of the story, in the fight scenes as well as the love scenes. The beauty and skill of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were perhaps best appreciated in the US, where it encouraged a serious reconsideration of the martial arts genre as a whole.