Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fearless / Huo Yuan Jia (China, 2006)

Fearless, directed by Ronny Yu, is a film about martial arts, about Wushu. Jet Li’s stars in this movie and told it would be his last film in the martial arts area.

Indeed this is a film about fighting, in the most truest sense of it’s word. I think the first 40 minutes more or less consist entirely of fighting scenes. The choreography of these scenes is absolutely wonderful!
What follows is a more philosophic part when Jet Li realizes he only fights for fame and winning, while winning is maybe not always most important. Deeply saddened when his mother and daughter are being murdered he ends up in a small village where he learns to be in peace with himself.
In this village he meets a blind girl who helps him. And this girl (‘Moon’ played by Sun Li), wow, her clothing is simple but at the same time of the most stunning beauty. Later, Jet Li returns to Shanghai to fight for the pride of his country....which won’t be tolerated cause the story sets in the beginning of 1900. This is a period when foreign countries tried to rule China and Chinese people themselves were in a huge identity crisis.

An very beautifully directed film with great choreography, beautiful fighting scenes and an underlying moralistic story. And yes, Jet Li is just a better actor when he plays in Chinese films than in American rubbish.

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