The Ashes of Time – my review

I watched again The Ashes of Time. It’s a beautifully done film by Wong Kar Wai. the cinematography is excellent. it’s one of the best. And yeah, I have to say the story is so interesting. It’s an imaginary story from Wong Kar Wai about the characters from Legend of Condor HeroI watched again The Ashes of Time. It’s a beautifully done film by Wong Kar Wai. the cinematography is excellent. it’s one of the best. And yeah, I have to say the story is so interesting. It’s an imaginary story from Wong Kar Wai about the characters from Legend of Condor Heroes (Sia Tiauw Eng Hiong – 射雕英雄传) when they were all still young.

The characters in this  story are:

  1. Ouyang Feng (欧阳峰)- OYF,
  2.  Huang Yaoshi (黄药师) -HYS,
  3. Hong Qi Gong(洪七公)- H7G,
  4.  Dugu Qiubai (独孤求败) – this the legendary swordsman, whose sword and sword skill, and the condor, was found by Yang Guo (杨过 or Yoko in Hokkien dialect) of Return of the Condor Heroes – 神雕侠侣.

The story in this film is focused on Ouyang Feng. The story is about OYF, men in his mid 30s, a broken fallen swordsman who move out from his place, White Carmel Mountain, because the woman he loved, married his own brother. The day his brother and the woman he loved married, he left White Carmel Mountain and resided at the desert. It turn out, that the woman he loved, left him and married his own brother, just because the woman felt tired of waiting for him. Ouyang Feng, never said that he loved her, although actually he loved her so much. So the woman decided to marry his brother to make him regret.

Just on the wedding day, Ouyang Feng had his courage to ask the woman to leave the place and go with him. The woman refused. Her pride, made her deny her own love, in order to give Ouyang Feng a lesson. And the lesson, cause her suffering, and Ouyang Feng’s suffering for his entire life. She thought that she won the “battle”. But definitely, no one is win or loose in love affairs. She suffered for her whole life, and she destroyed Ouyang Feng’s life, and also her husband’s life.

In the end, Ouyang Feng admitted, that he’s just too afraid of being refused that he chose to refuse others first.

For Ouyang Feng, everything is just a matter of business. Nothing personal for him. He just exploit others since he just doesn’t want to be exploited. After he left White Carmel Mountain, he became a middleman, an agent for peoples who needed assasin services.

Ouyang Feng, had a friend who always came to visit him during the spring time, when the peach flower blossom. His friend’s name was Huang Yaoshi. He’s a handsome charming man. He was at least loved by two women, who desperately in love with him. The first woman,  was Murong Yin. She met Huang Yaoshi when she disguised herself as a man. Huang Yaoshi told “him” that if Murong Yang had a sister, then he wanted to marry her. And Murong Yang, said, he had a sister whose name is Murong Yin, and Huang Yaoshi had to marry her, or if not, she would kill Huang Yaoshi. The sister she meant, was herself . But Huang Yaoshi never came back again to find him, to marry his sister(Murong Yin).

Murong Yin was so sad because of this. She became crazy, and thought that Murong Yang and Murong Yin were different person. She got a double personality disorder. Later, she exiled herself, and practice an invincible sword skills. She practice her sword skill with her own reflection on the water. She thought that she’s fighting her “brother” who made her unable to be together with Huang Yaoshi. Later, she became a great swordsman that she became invincible. She’s called DuGu Qiu Bai (Alone, Solitaire, and Seeking to be defeated).

Another woman who loved Huang Yaoshi, was actually a wife of his own friend. Huang’s friend, a blind swordsman, called Peach Blossom. She loved Huang Yaoshi so much, and it made her husband, the blind swordsman to leave his hometown and worked as Ouyang Feng’s assasin. He was then died in a mission. And before he died, he asked Ouyang Feng to tell Huang Yaoshi, that Peach Blossom (his wife) was waiting for him in his hometown.

Huang Yaoshi himself, he came to meet Ouyang every year on spring. Because he wanted to know Ouyang Feng’s condition. He did this for a woman he truly loved. This woman, was Ouyang’s sister in law. He’s so in love with this woman, that he would do anything (including seeking information about Ouyang Feng) just to meet her.

Later after she died, Huang Yaoshi was heartbroken. Huang Yaoshi never told her that he really loved her. He said that although he liked her so much, but he won’t let her know. because things you can not have, is the best forever. The last time he met Ouyang Feng, he told him that there’s a woman who gave him a jug of wine, called “Drunk when Alive, and Dream when Dead”. And whoever who drank the wine, would be able to forget all the past, and forgot what he did before.

Huang Yaoshi drank that wine. And he seemed to really forget about his past. Ouyang Feng didn’t drink the wine. He said that once there’s a woman in White Carmel Mountain, actually the “Drunk when Alive, and Dream when is Dead” is just her joke, the more you want to forget something, the more you will remember it so clearly. I also often heard people said, that when you can’t have it, then the best thing you can do, is not to forget it.”

After that, Ouyang Feng went to the east, and resided in an island, later he planted a lot of Peach tree, since the woman he truly loved, loved to see peach blossom. Since then, he’s called as East Heretic as he always appeared from the east side. After Ouyang Feng found out that his brother passed away, and the woman he loved, his sister in law, also passed away. He decided to go back to White Carmel Mountain, and he later known as West Venom.

I don’t count anymore how many times I’ve watched this film. Not only it’s beautiful visually, but the dialogues, characters in this film are so interesting. I have to say that it makes me think a lot.

And yeah, now I realized, that all of us.. are products of our past, are victims of love (for better or worse).

Oh yes, this film translation in English, doesn’t really as much as accurate as the real meaning. If you understand Chinese, then you will appreciate the dialogues in this movie more and more.

Later after she died, Huang Yaoshi was heartbroken. Huang Yaoshi never told her that he really loved her. He said that although he liked her so much, but he won’t let her know. because things you can not have, is the best forever. The last time he met Ouyang Feng, he told him that there’s a woman who gave him a jug of wine, called “Drunk when Alive, and Dream when Dead”. And whoever who drank the wine, would be able to forget all the past, and forgot what he did before.

Huang Yaoshi drank that wine. And he seemed to really forget about his past. Ouyang Feng didn’t drink the wine. He said that once there’s a woman in White Carmel Mountain, actually the “Drunk when Alive, and Dream when is Dead” is just her joke, the more you want to forget something, the more you will remember it so clearly. I also often heard people said, that when you can’t have it, then the best thing you can do, is not to forget it.”

After that, Ouyang Feng went to the east, and resided in an island, later he planted a lot of Peach tree, since the woman he truly loved, loved to see peach blossom. Since then, he’s called as East Heretic as he always appeared from the east side. After Ouyang Feng found out that his brother passed away, and the woman he loved, his sister in law, also passed away. He decided to go back to White Carmel Mountain, and he later known as West Venom.

 

If you can appreciate art house films, then you can appreciate and like this film. If not, then you probably stay away.

Anyway, this film has a lot of famous HK superstar in its time – Leslie Cheung, Brigitte Lin, Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung, and Tony Leung Chiu Wai. And it has beautiful soundtracks. The Ashes of Time Redux modify a little bit of the soundtracks and involved Yoyo Ma to play some of the songs. As a fan of Yoyo I don’t mind at all with it. But to be honest, I prefer the original soundtrack. Why? Listen it by yourself and you will know why.

In the end, I give 8/10 for this film.

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