A Younkin Production: The Sorcerer and the White Snake Review
on 2013-02-04 11:22
Movie Review: The Sorcerer and the White Snake-
“The Sorcerer and the White Snake” does what so many fairy tale romances, “Twlight” and “Warm Bodies” included, doesn’t-it goes big. This 2011 Hong Kong film comes from Chinese action director and choreographer Tony Ching Siu-Tung, telling the story of a demon, actually a white snake with the seductive head and shoulders of a woman (Eva Huang), who falls madly in love with a poor herbalist (Raymond Lam), and he with her, after she saves him from drowning and then kisses him. Using up much of her power to become a woman, the two become a couple, which encourages Monk Farhai (Jet Li), a sorcerer who has spent his life making sure demons and humans don’t mix, to separate the two lovers.
There’s no clear hero or villain here, which only strengthens this surprisingly moving love story. Lam and Huang both give passionate performances, overcoming Ching’s sometimes overwrought forbidden, star-crossed lovers portrayal. And Li is fantastic as a man so motivated by duty that nothing else matters. And not all is so serious. There is a good amount of goofy physical comedy here as well. But what will immediately strike you is just how magnificently, unquestionably gorgeous this film is, from the White snake, and her sister Green (Charlene Choi), and enchanted forest creatures to high-flying wire act battles where Li fights bats, foxes, and more, to scenery that enhances both the fights (arctic ice, bamboo poles that hide demons, a brilliant CGI sequence over water and inside a snakes mouth) and the romance (blue underwater scenes, a lantern festival). “Sorcerer” comes across as nothing less than fantastical visual artistry, but it has a heart and thrilling amount of action as well.