Love of the White Snake

This early Brigitte Lin film is based on the same Chinese folk tale that Tsui Hark later used as his source for The Green Snake. It is the story of two sister snakes that want to feel what it is to be human and one of them needs to know what it is to feel human love. It is a sweet magical but ultimately tragic tale of breaking societal taboos. This film had no sub-titles but the tale is familiar enough that it is easy to follow.
Even if it hadnít been, it would have been well worth my time because of Brigitte. She is absolutely ravishing in this film. The close ups of her are almost heart stopping. It leaves no doubt as to why Brigitte is considered one of the great Taiwanese beauties of all time. And snakes seem to be born with such innate fashion sense!
Brigitte and her sister live under the water but ask their sifu if it is all right for them to change into human form and go on land. So they enter a small town and almost immediately Brigitte sees Charlie Ching at a distance and feels attracted to him. The two sisters use various little tricks to push the two of them together. They have magical abilities and can do nifty things like make it rain, turn rocks into male servants and flowers into female handmaidens. Please, I just want one flower or rock to help me clean my apartment!
The man understandably falls into a swooning dizzying love and before he knows it he is married to Brigitte. This isnít Bewitched though and soon troubles in the form of Taoist priests come to their happy home. The Taoists can sense that these two women are snakes and try to warn the husband. He doesnít want to believe it but doubts creep into his head; especially when he sees a giant green snake in their bedchamber one day. Not surprisingly this causes a few marital problems. But then love is love even if your wife is a snake - and as long as she looks like Brigitte Lin in human form - well things could be a lot worse!
This Taiwanese film was an enjoyable romantic fantasy even without the subtitles. It has a somewhat quaint and old fashioned feel to it and moves quite slowly. The special effects are quite cheesy but kind of fun. The performance from Brigitte is very good and nuanced but she doesnít really attempt to do the whole wriggling snake thing that Maggie Cheung does so well in Green Snake. I have to admit that I would very much have enjoyed watching Brigitte doing a little wriggling!