Director: Ronny Yu

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The gloomy dark photography & a story more serious than most make The Bride with White Hair (Bai fa mo nu zhuan, 1993) much better than average for kung-fu fantasies, though by no means a great film, in spite of being regarded by some as a classic of kind.

The Bride with White HairExquisite Brigitte Lin plays the titular Bride, a deadly & sensuous demonic beauty. Although she is a creature of the darkness, she has not lost her woman's heart. She genuinely loves & protects our hero (Leslie Cheung), despite whatever obeisance she owes to a demon lord.

Generally I long for that rarest type of wuxia in which the history & fighting arts seem real, but when it's about ghosts & demons, realism is more acceptibly jettisoned.

Because it is a sword & sorcery tale, the most extremely unbelievable kung-fu styles are rendered believable because, heck, it's magic.

Bride lacks the deep compassion, grace, & credibility of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) or House of Flying Daggers (2004). But for a film that is repeatedly described as "over the top" with the highest of high camp, Bride manages to drum up some real feeling in between bogglingly bizarre fight scenes.

Some elements of the tale, like the siamese twin villains, were ridiculous, & detracted from sequences that are inspired. Anyone impatient with the ridiculous will not like The Bride with White Hair, but anyone who generally likes absurdist kung-fu films should like this one a great deal more than most films of its type.

It not a successful film on purpose or the stuff in that is foolish wouldn't be in it. Rather, it is a successful film (of kind) in spite of itself. The moments of inspiration more than outweigh the genre limitations & absurdities, so that it's one of the better films of its kind.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

[ Film Home ] - [ Film Reviews Index ]
[ Where to Send DVDs for Review ] - [ Paghat's Giftshop ]