(Image is from Internet)
This weekend I watched the new movie Snow flower and the secret fan. This movie is quite sensational in Chinese community because the famous Chinese lady Wendi Murdoch, wife of Rupert Murdoch, jointly produced this movie.
This movie is about the sotry of “lao tong”, in Chinese meaning two girls who were born on the same day and the same year bond to each other as life-long intimate best friends, and their fates are bond together too. In the movie, two pair of lao tongs’ stories upwrapped and interpenetrated in turns about their ethernal friendship.
One pair of lao tong — Snow flower and Lily– lived in the 19th century in Shanghai, China. As a then Chinese tradition, they had to bind their feet to three-inch “golden lotuses”–woman’s bound feet in feudal age. It was said that binding feet would highly improve the possibility of marriage to wealthy families because of the then-popular social aesthetic standard. As a result, Lily married to a rich family as expected, however, Snow flower married to a butcher. So their fates were very different. At the same time, their laotong friendship maintained very well all the time. They wrote to each other on the folds of white snow silk fans in a secret language — Nü Shu.
The other pair of lao tong — Nina and Sophia — lived in modern Shanghai, China. Time changes, and a lot of traditions change too. There’s no more binding feet. Lao tong is no more popular in modern society either. Nina and Sophia faced life challenges and struggles. However, they kept their pure lao tong friendship carefully and in its traditional meaning.
The whole movie is somewhat tragedy and feels a little depressing. Overall I like this movie. For audience opinions, up to now, I heard two: Some audience complained that alternating the stories of the two pair of lao tongs so frequently (stories often change from one to another within minutes) is quite annoying, and the audience said they found nowhere to anchor their feelings. Others complained that the movie is too regional with so many languages spoken (Madrin, English, Shanghai dialect, Korean, and Shanxi dialect).
Currently screening in China, the movie will have its official North America premiere in Los Angels on Jul 15. Looking forward to see more reviews.