Film Analysis: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

857 Words4 Pages
Our perceptions change with our evolving experiences, and in a dynamic and fast-changing world, the distinctively visual offers a unique insight into how we discover and form our identities. Ang Lee’s 2000 Chinese-American martial arts film ‘Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon’, explores many manifestations of the distinctly visual in shaping our perceptions and values through the prism of Confucian, Daoist and other philosophies and cultures. Likewise, Mark Osborne’s animated short film, visually targets a range of audiences, to also explore freedom of expression in the pursuit of happiness. Thus while in vastly different mediums, both texts employ an array of visual techniques, illustrating the powerful effects of the distinctively visual to convey…show more content…
Lee has successfully applied establishing shots of Yu through the use of windows and cropped shots within frames. Close up shots of her inside frames highlights her lack of freedom and entrapped nature. Her personality disclosed in the opening scenes describes her as a gentle, highly cultured teenager who is completely satisfied with her life. Ironically, however, half way through the movie, Lee exposes her hyper-masculinity once she dresses like a ninja to steal the Green Destiny. The filming of Jen in pure black outfit situated in a dark, low-pitched region highlights the buildup of negativity and emphasizes on her hunger for independence. Lee visually acknowledges Jen’s radical thoughts of her willing to remove herself from the institution of the Chinese aristocracy and its Confucius beliefs through the flashback of her in the desert. While she lived with Lo, her lover, her inner character had automatically emerged out. The love story between Jen and Lo is all fiery passion and lack of restraint. Eventually, her true representation as a proud and fierce young girl had appeared on screen, concealing the innocent wallflower she was in the opening scenes. Contrariwise, Shu Lien continues to be attorney for the Confucius thoughts, even though it is highly evident that throughout the film, this belief has destroyed some of the strongest bonds between individuals. Shu Lien demonstrates the criticism and depreciation of human nature through her stubborn personality in a two shot of her and Li Mu Bai. Mu Bai, framed within walls of the bamboo tea house with Shu Lien, confesses “I want to be with you”. Sticking to her thoughts and beliefs, Shu Lien ignores his emotional admittance and abruptly reminds him that “as a woman”, she must “abide by tradition”. Lee frames the two lovers within narrow walls and employs their feeling of oppression. This proves that the film pits Eastern philosophy against the
Open Document