Friday, December 2, 2011

House of Flying Daggers (2004)

Like a flying dagger that magically finds its way to the target this amazing movie reaches accurately and deeply into the heart of all existence - LOVE.

For the Bible does not only praise love at the limits of human languages as in 1 Corinthians 13. Bible does not only say that God loves the world (John 3:16) or that love is from God (1 John 4:7).

The Bible actually says that LOVE is everything for 1 John 4:16 writes
God is love

Mystery of love
In the midst of the gorgeous palette of colours, bamboo green or the glory of autumn trees, Chinese clothing taking directly from authentic paintings, bloody beautiful weapons skilfully handled, arrows, swords, daggers, martial art that actually brings art into it - the cinematic narrative of master Zhang Yimou brings us, the viewers, in simplest terms to the greatest mystery of all - the mystery of love.

Mei (Zhang Ziyi) is just lovely, more beautiful than a forest of cherry trees in full blossom

Leo (Andy Lau) has saved the life of Mei and has loved her ever since he learned to know her three years ago. And yet, the heartbroken question

"How could you fell in love with Jin in only three days?"

Indeed, what is love?

What was missing from the relationship between Leo and Mei?

The answer is, as the Beatles once put it
All you need is love, 
All you need is love, 
All you need is love, love,
all you need is love.

Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) is like free wind, no commitments with the ladies, life goes on.

And yet, love stopped him dead.

Really, what is this thing, love?

The heart of Leo is filled with bitter rage and hatred for his best friend who won the love of Mei

"If I cannot have you, Jin shall definitely not have you."

Why not?

Such things happen, love's labour is lost and consequences can be devastating. Stuff for real life tragedy.

Mei pulls the dagger out of her chest and blood starts to stream from the wound. She dies in order to save the life of Jin.

Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7

This marvellous movie does not try to explain what is love, it shows love in action.

And we all, regardless of our race, culture, historical period (Tang dynasty or other), understand. 

There is something fundamentally similar in all us humans that responds to love.

We all somehow understand that Mei chooses Jin instead of Leo although we do not know exactly why. Both most brave and handsome warriors, but there is this mysterious thing called LOVE.

"Why did you return, I told you not to return back"
"I returned for you".

House of Flying Daggers (2004)

The movie received twenty minutes of standing ovations after screening in Cannes Film Festival. It definitely deserved those from a highly critical audience.

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