Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
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Top Customer Reviews
Having said that I would like to convey how much I loved this film. Director Wayne Wang instilled `Snow Flower and the Secret Fan' with the same depth of emotion and sensitivity that made his `Joy Luck Club' such a moving and memorable viewing experience.
The storyline moves neatly back and forth between two sets of Chinese women living in different times (Lily and Snow Flower in 1829 China, Nina and Sophia in present day Shanghai). Though time and place differ, the shared cultural and spiritual bonds formed by their mutual `vows of sisterhood' are identical and timeless. Bingbing Li plays the parts of both Lily and Nina and Gianna Jun the dual roles of Snow Flower and Sophia. Both story lines are engaging but clearly the Snow Flower and Lily tale is the more important of the two. Nevertheless the present day friendship between Nina and Sophia is essential to the intent of the film, providing not only context to the earlier friendship but a cultural bridge between past, present and future. In other words, while everything around us is constantly changing what's really important in life remains the same.Read more ›
The movie takes a different approach than the novel in that it has two parallel story lines - one set in the present featuring two young women who are kindred spirits, but whose friendship is eventually strained by conflicting ideas regarding relationships, lifestyle, etc. On the same day that she receives news that she has a job opportunity in New York, Nina (Li BingBing) receives news that her estranged best friend, Sophia (Gianna Jun) has been in an accident and is in hospital. As Nina goes through Sophia's things at the hospital, she comes across a manuscript, parts of a story of two women in 19th century China, whose friendship mirror Nina and Sophia's own close bond.
The trouble is that this parallel storyline does not work - by dividing the story up into two disparate timelines, not much time is spent in developing the central characters.Read more ›
I read and completely loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, so I went into this movie with some expectations. Knowing this is a movie, however, I was ready for the artistic license. I was a little confused by the modern setting, but hey, let's get past the first 10 minutes before I start judging.
I actually liked that they paralleled the two stories of the women, modern and past. I suppose if you hadn't read the book the film would seem jumpy, so I see this as a visual supplement to the book in some ways. I can see where others may get confused with the relationship between Snow Flower and Lily (friends? Lovers?) but this is from a different era. They didn't enter the relationship that way and it is not described that way at all. They were each others comfort and in so many ways soul mates, but they were not sexual...
Anywho, read the book, enjoy it. Watch the movie...realize it is NOT the book verbatim, enjoy it too. It's not a travesty of an adaptation, it's an interesting, tear jerking, new take on a wonderful story.
I was particularly interested in watching this movie because I have lived in the orient and I was eager to see how it would be depicted. There is something that most Americans do not understand, and that is that oriental cultures have histories and deep-seated traditions that Americans have a difficult time imagining. This movie is about one such custom - a custom where young women bind themselves to one another in a life-long mutually supportive relationship.
These relationships were vital to the happiness of many Chinese women, especially those of higher social status. Marriage for them was almost always a matter of an arrangement for social status, wealth, alliances between families, etc. They were seldom marriages of love, at least initially. The primary role of women in that society was to provide their husbands with social status and sons. Since this is the case, women of status relied heavily on female-female relationships for emotional support.
This film depicts this sort of relationship, and involved three interwoven story lines - one set in early 1800s China, one set in modern Shanghai, and one set about a decade or so earlier than today.
As you watch the film you will see parallels between the story lines, and the same two women play the main characters in all three story lines. I found that to be a memorable part of the film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent movie, well written, well cast, and well acted. It shares difficulties with other movies that move between time periods: How, for example, do you tie one era to... Read morePublished 20 hours ago by John
While it didn't closely follow each step of the book (movie versions never do) it skillfully drew the story of the book into a modern parallel. I loved it.Published 2 months ago by M Ottoboni
As a woman that is truly intrigued by Asian cultures like Japan, China and Korea and adored the movies "Memoirs of a Geisha", "The Joy Luck Club", and "Now and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kelly
For the person who wrote that you should read the book first thank you so much and you are right there are nuances in the book that are not in this film. Read morePublished 2 months ago by jenpaulhome
loved this story. every woman should watch this video as it relates to the love of your best friend and the sacrifices they make for you.Published 2 months ago by tkmom
Good movie but they sure took artistic license. I would have rather they followed the book.Published 2 months ago by T. J. Rott
I really liked the ending and the connecting of the past to the present.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer