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!