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|Huang Xiaoming (left) and Fan Bingbing Tong Yao With the Double Seventh Festival (also known as the Chinese Valentines' Day) falling on Saturday Iker Casillas Real Madrid Jersey , many couples headed to theaters looking for a bit of romance. Among the various choices available, The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom proved to be a popular choice as the film took 214 million yuan ($34.6 million) at the box office over the weekend.
However, despite the film's high earnings, feedback about this box office hit has been fairly negative as an illogical plot has left many moviegoers scratching their heads.
Adaptation of a classic
One of Hong Kong writer Liang Yusheng (1924-2009)'s most representative martial arts novels, Legend of the White Haired Witch is set during the latter years of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and tells the tragic love story between martial art hero Zhuo Yihang and vigilante-heroine Lian Nishang Gareth Bale Real Madrid Jersey , while also being filled with fighting among various martial art sects and political intrigue tied to the royal court.
Over the decades since the story's serialized publication in Hong Kong newspaper Sin Wun Pao in 1957-58, the story has been adapted into numerous TV series and movies both at home and abroad, including The Bride with White Hair, the 1993 movie starring Brigitte Lin and Leslie Cheung that is often regarded as one of the better adaptations.
With a multitude of adaptations preceding it and famous director Hark Tsui locked in as artistic director, this most recent adaptation has been under a ton of pressure to get things right.
While the 1993 film focuses largely on the love story between the two main characters Fabio Coentrao Real Madrid Jersey , Jacob Cheung's The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom takes a bigger look at the time period, which ends up giving the movie a more historical touch. Additionally, the film brings two of China's hottest stars Huang Xiaoming and Fan Bingbing together as the leads, a move that was surely made to suit audience tastes.
However, these choices aren't enough to balance the more ridiculous parts of the film's story.
For instance Danilo Real Madrid Jersey , the point in the story where Lian's hair turns from black to white has long been regarded as the most climactic part of the story, yet Lunar Kingdom turns the moment into something of a farce.
Looking to kill the traitorous eunuch Wei Zhongxian, the film's hero Zhuo Yihang undergoes numerous trials and tribulations to gain the eunuch's trust, including agreeing to marry Wei's daughter Ke Pingting. Actually in love with Lian, on the night of his wedding Zhuo reveals to Ke that he has someone else in his heart. At that very moment Lian bursts into their room and asks Zhuo if he really intends to marry Ke. Not wanting to reveal his plans he tells Lian that this is the case Dani Ceballos Real Madrid Jersey , and she runs from the room, broken-hearted to the point that her hair turns white. Not two seconds after he broke his lover's heart in order to protect his plan, Zhuo then turns to his bride-to-be and confesses that he wants to kill her father. After which he promptly leaves to catch up with the now white-haired Lian, whom he sweeps up onto a horse and rides away.
Zhuo's erratic behavior and actions make it difficult to sympathize with his character. At the beginning of the film the director attempts to portray Zhuo as a man who can sacrifice his own personal love out of patriotic duty. Yet this action where he breaks his lover's heart and then immediately reveals his plans make all his previous efforts a complete waste.
The other major plot, which involves Zhuo finding a magic flower which can save the comatose Lian's life Dani Carvajal Real Madrid Jersey , is also being mocked online as a "sleeping beauty rip-off." In the original novel, this flower blooms only once every 60 years, and Zhuo's patience and dedication as he waits for the flower to blossom has moved many readers. However, in the film the flower has been moved to a dangerous valley where Zhuo must risk life and limb to pick it. In the end, however Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Jersey , it turns out the flower (which Zhuo is unable to attain) was never even necessary as a simple kiss from Zhuo ends up saving Lian's life.
While the main characters leave a lot to be desired, some of the supporting characters have made a big impression on audiences.
"The big villain played by Zhao Wenzhuo is the figure that moved me the most the whole movie," netizen JUSTonTHEWAY111 posted on Sina Weibo Sunday, praising Zhao for his portrayal of a prince that bears a decade of humiliation and difficulties in order to spy on an enemy kingdom, revealing this character's courage and strategy.
Tong Yao's Ke Pingting Casemiro Real Madrid Jersey , is another example of an excellent portrayal. From the first time she lays eyes on Zhuo, to the way she comes to Zhuo's defense when Lian attempts to attack him on their wedding night, and how she lets him go when she realizes he was just using her, Yao uses the subtle details to breathe life into this background character.
In an earlier interview with Tong, she revealed to the Global Times that she didn't really understand the character all that well because early adaptations had little information about her. "I thought she was very simple Borja Mayoral Real Madrid Jersey , but later I realized her special identity as the daughter of a eunuch made her a very smart woman," Tong said, adding that the audience can more easily sympathize with the character of Ke because she shares many sensibilities with modern people.
With the romantic holiday's not behind us, it remains to be seen if poor reviews will affect the film's box office next weekend.
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