The Bride with White Hair
"...masterpiece from director Ronnie Yu."
- Vic Nguyen
The Bride with White Hair (1993)
AKA: Jiang-Hu: Between Love and Glory
Literally: White Hair Witch Legend
Director: Ronnie Yu Yan-Tai
Producer: Ronnie Yu Yan-Tai
Writer: David Wu; Ronny Yu
Cast: Brigitte Lin Ching-Hsia, Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing, Elaine Lui Siu-Ling, Yammie Nam Kit-Ying, Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Law Lok-Lam, Pau Fong, Eddy Ko Hung, Joseph Cheng
Running Time: 90 min.
Plot: Ronny Yu directs this highly operatic fable based on a story by well-known martial arts novelist Leung Yu-Sang. The Bride With White Hair stars Brigitte Lin Ching-hsia and Leslie Cheung as doomed lovers caught in the cross-fire of warring clans (each being a champion warrior on opposite sides of the strife.)
NUMSKULL'S REVIEW: Hmmm...well, not quite as banal as I expected, but still annoying in several respects.
For starters, just about everything is blue.
Also, the villainess is one of those Saturday morning cartoon types who laughs manically at two things: 1) nothing, and 2) everything. The action is preposterous, and not in a good way; in addition to the typical wire stuff, people get decapitated and chopped into pieces by a whip. That's right, a whip. Worst of all, the "wolf girl" falls in love with the golden-hearted hero for no reason at all. She tries to off him twice, then they start lip-wrestling. He did save her life, but if she's supposed to be such a stone-cold killing machine, where does her sense of gratitude come from?
I won't say it's totally worthless, though. The script is OK in parts, the conjoined twins were an interesting touch, Brigette Lin has a regal on-screen presence even when she's getting beaten down by a hundred people at once, and there's more polish here than in many other HK flicks. It's definitely over-rated, though. If you feel you MUST see it, do so for a change of pace, not because of its cult status.
NUMSKULL'S RATING: 4/10
YATE'S REVIEW: One of the best HK films I have ever seen! It's got everything you could ask for in an Hk flick: Brigitte Lin in a wet shirt, artsy farsty camerawork and action, not to mention a really cool villain( a back to back siamese supernatural brother sister team). Mad props to Ronny Yu for this masterpeice and screw anybody who doesen't like it.
YATE'S RATING: 10/10
PERKELE'S REVIEW: While I like fantasy movies as well as classic martial arts movies, I must say that this hugely over-rated romp was a big disappoitment. It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't that good. Action scenes were lame and stupid, spoiled with that irritating "strobo" techinic which makes the picture twitch [like in most battles of "Gladiator"]! Hell, I can do that effect by pressing one button of my TV's remote control if I want to! So if you're looking for a swordplay flick, look elsewhere.
The acting is quite good, plot almost interesting and the whole film looks nice, but the beautiful cinematography and well-acted drama doesn't save it from being even boring sometimes. Still, give it a try, it's an OK attempt for an artsy fartsy romantic fantasy drama. [Maybe I smashed the film a little too hard but I find it important to present film's negative reactions in me 'cause everybody is always praising it] A good film to introduce your girlfriend to HK cinema.
PERKELE'S RATING: 5.5/10
VIC NGUYEN'S REVIEW: Brigette Lin is absolutely luminous in this masterpiece from director Ronnie Yu. Great wire-work choreography and beautiful cinematography by Peter Pau makes this one of Yu's best films, and is by far the most reknowned in the west.
VIC NGUYEN'S RATING: 10/10