Title suggested by my hubby.
It’s rather funny to think that I used to be the one who had any knowledge and interest in Chinese cinema. It’s not something I leapt at in recent years, but when I was in high school, I was really into kung fu movies especially, and I still have a VHS copy of The Road Home somewhere. I remember being so into it that I was actually a little disappointed with Crouching Tiger.
But now it’s apparently Hubby’s Thing. This weekend, he woke up with Owen. Owen tends to start getting clingy and screamy when I sleep in, but he’s quiet and lovely for his Didi until I come in. So I kind of put it off. They watch Chinese movies when I sleep in. It is now part of the Thing, I think.
I usually catch the second half, or in this case, the end. There was all kinds of awesome hug fight scenes, and demons vs monks, which is cool. But there’s also a love story and racial politics. A white snake demon fell in love with a human and married him. Hubby described it as, “And now they’re playing house. :)” But the monk who has spent his entire life fighting demons confronts her, accusing her of bewitching the guy. This introduces the idea that love between demons and humans is literally impossible.
The monk tricks the husband into giving the snake demon some kind of holy wine that works like garlic on a vampire, and she is forced into her snake shape while a bunch of monks attack the house. Her husband, terrified by her monstrous shape, stabs her with a “spirit dagger” which removes her ability to take human form. When he learned that this was his wife, and what he had done, he weeps and I wanted to punch the monk in his stupid holy face.
To save his wife / return her to him, the husband steals an herb that looks like UBER GINSENG, but while the herb does help her, its removal from its place also releases centuries’ worth of trapped demons, which promptly possess him.
The monks perform a ritual to save him, but this bloody stupid monk… Ugh. When the white snake demon and her sister come to take back the husband, the monk spouts a bunch of prideful, antagonistic crap that provokes an attack. Oh, culpability, you are fun to discuss.
So the white snake demon floods the temple and its grounds. She is responsible for the deaths. She could have chosen a different course of action.
The monk chose not to be diplomatic. He’s been dealing with demons for forever. He is responsible too. He could have abandoned his pride to forestall the threat that he knew she would carry out.
It’s like children and adults. An adult is always more responsible than a child, and often more culpable. If a child known to kick the dog threatens to kick the dog, and an adult says, “Of course you will, you’re a brat,” he can’t exactly stand on the high ground when the dog gets kicked.
A lot of the fallout from the moment he decides to not just leave the happy couple alone is the monk’s fault. But that flood… oh that is just effing self-evident.