Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Synopsis: In 19th century Qing Dynasty China, a warrior (Chow Yun-Fat) gives his sword, Green Destiny, to his lover (Michelle Yeoh) to deliver to safe keeping, but it is stolen, and the chase is on to find it. The search leads to the House of Yu where the story takes on a whole different level.
Production: Sony Pictures Classics
  Won 4 Oscars. Another 96 wins & 130 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.9
Metacritic:
93
Rotten Tomatoes:
97%
PG-13
Year:
2000
120 min
Website
735 Views


EXT. YUAN COMPOUND - DAY

Security men and porters are loading wagons for a convoy.

As they work, we see across the lake a lone horseman entering

the village. One of the men recognizes him.

WORKER:

Master Li is here!

ANGLE ON:
Li Mu Bai, thirties, powerful and handsome.

In the background, old Aunt Wu, at the sight of Li Mu Bai,

drops her parcels and runs excitedly into the building.

INT. YUAN HALLWAY - DAY

Aunt Wu runs hurriedly through the halls.

AUNT WU:

Shu Lien!

INT. YU'S ROOM - DAY

Yu, a beautiful woman in her early 30s, is finishing packing

for the convoy, wrapping a few small items in a linen

wrapper, as Aunt Wu bursts in.

AUNT WU:

Li Mu Bai is here!

INT. YUAN PRACTICE HALL - DAY

LI:

How's everything?

AUNT WU:

Fine. Please come in.

Yu sits, composed, as Aunt Wu ushers Li in. Li carries a

large object, wrapped in silk.

Yu smiles.

YU:

Mu Bai...It's been too long.

LI:

It has.

(he glances around

the room)

How's business?

YU:

Good. And how are you?

LI:

Fine.

An awkward pause.

YU:

Monk Zheng said you were at Wudan

Mountain. He said you were

practicing deep meditation.

LI:

Yes.

YU:

The mountain must be so peaceful...

I envy you. My work keeps me so

busy, I hardly get any rest.

LI:

I left the training early.

YU:

Why? You're a Wudan fighter.

Training is everything.

LI:

During my meditation training... I

came to a place of deep silence...

I was surrounded by light... Time

and space disappeared. I had come

to a place my master had never told

me about.

YU:

You were enlightened?

LI:

No. I didn't feel the bliss of

enlightenment. Instead... I was

surrounded by an endless sorrow. I

couldn't bear it. I broke off my

meditation. I couldn't go on.

There was something... pulling me

back.

YU:

What was it?

LI:

Something I can't let go of. You

are leaving soon?

YU:

We're preparing a convoy for a

delivery to Peking.

LI:

Perhaps I could ask you to deliver

something to Sir Te for me.

Li unwraps the object. It is an ancient, astonishingly

beautiful sword.

YU:

The Green Destiny Sword? You're

giving it to Sir Te?

LI:

I am. He has always been our

greatest protector.

YU:

I don't understand. How can you

part with it? It has always been

with you.

LI:

Too many men have died at its edge.

It only looks pure because blood

washes so easily from its blade.

YU:

You use it justly, you're worthy of

it.

LI:

It's time for me to leave it behind.

YU:

So what will you do now?

Li doesn't reply.

YU:

Come with me to Peking. You can

give the sword to Sir Te yourself.

It'll be just like old times.

LI:

First I must visit my master's

grave. It's been many years since

Jade Fox murdered him. I have yet

to avenge his death. And yet I'm

thinking of quitting. I must pray

for his forgiveness.

YU:

Join me once you have finished. I

can wait for you in Peking.

LI:

Perhaps.

EXT. THE GATE TO PEKING. DAY

Customs officials have just finished checking the contents

in a row of carriages bearing the Sun Security insignia.

The caravan slowly passes through the checkpoint into the

boundaries of Peking. Yu, riding a handsome horse and

clearly the leader, watches as her crew clears inspection.

GUARDS:

Ok. Pass.

YU:

Thanks. Let's go into the city.

EXT. OUTSIDE A DEPOT. DAY

Workers are busy unloading the contents from the carriages.

Boss Giao is checking off the merchandise -- a cargo of

medicinal herbs.

GIAO:

Everything got here safely. I'm

much obliged.

YU:

Just doing my job.

GIAO:

Sun Security has been the best

since your father started it.

You're a credit to his memory.

YU:

Thank you.

GIAO:

I mean it.

EXT. DAY. PEKING

From a gray tiled roof, we can see Peking's magnificent grid

of houses extending miles and miles out, freshly painted by

the morning sun.

EXT. PEKING STREET. DAY

Dusty and congested as always, people, horses, and carriages

are fighting to get through the boulevards.

A group of jugglers perform at a corner.

Yu surveys the busy street from on top of her horse.

INT. TE'S GREAT HALL - DAY

Yu presents the sword to Sir Te.

SIR TE:

This is Li's personal sword, a

great hero's weapon! He is the

only one in the world worthy of

carrying it. It's too fine a gift.

I cannot accept it.

YU:

Sir Te! It has brought him as much

trouble as glory. Help him to

leave these troubles behind.

Otherwise, he'll never be able to

start anew.

SIR TE:

All right. I'll act as the sword's

custodian.

De Lu, the head servant, enters.

DE LU:

Governor Yu has arrived.

SIR TE:

I must change.

YU:

(getting up)

You've always been so good to Li Mu

Bai and me. Please accept our

thanks.

SIR TE:

Please do not be such a stranger.

You'll stay the night as my guest.

Now, Shu Lien... tell me something.

And forgive me for prying. Your

father was a great friend to me,

and I think of you as my own

daughter.

YU:

Please, Sir Te, what is it?

SIR TE:

Li Mu Bai giving up his sword and

his warrior days... maybe he's

trying to tell you something?

YU:

I don't know...

SIR TE:

Don't be coy. I've always known

about your feelings for each other.

All these years, it's a shame...

neither of you is brave enough to

admit the truth to the other.

You're both wasting precious time.

YU:

I beg your pardon. Li Mu Bai and I

aren't cowards.

SIR TE:

When it comes to emotions, even

great heroes can be idiots. Tell

me if Li Mu Bai is not more open

the next time you see him. I'll

give him an earful!

INT. TE'S STUDY - DAY

Yu and De Lu approach the study.

DE LU:

Sir Te said to leave the sword in

here.

De Lu opens the door and is startled to find a young woman

inside. The woman is studying the sheets of calligraphy

hanging on the walls.

DE LU:

Who are you?

JEN:

I'm your guest today. I am Governor

Yu's daughter.

DE LU:

This is Sir Te's study. You are

here to...

JEN:

I was looking for a quiet corner.

DE LU:

I am Sir Te's head servant. And

this is another of our guests.

INT. TE'S STUDY - DAY

Yu gently lays the sword, still in its sheath, in Jen's hands.

JEN:

It's heavy for such a thin piece of

metal!

YU:

The handle is heavy. And the blade

is no ordinary metal. Still, the

sword is the lightest of weapons.

You're just not used to handling it.

JEN:

But I have had much practice. As a

child in the West, a platoon lived

with us. They'd let me play with

their weapons. The scabbard is so

beautiful.

YU:

Beautiful but dangerous. Once you

see it tainted with blood, its

beauty is hard to admire. It's 400

years old.

JEN:

Exquisite! You said it belongs to...

YU:

My friend Li Mu Bai. He's given it

to Sir Te as a gift.

JEN:

Li Mu Bai! The famous warrior?

Why would he give his sword to Sir

Te?

YU:

You're too young to understand.

JEN:

You're a sword fighter too?

Yu yanks the sword out of the sheath. An eerie sound

resonates within the study. Jen is even more impressed.

YU:

Yes, I am. But I prefer the

machete. Certain moves, however,

call for a sword.

JEN:

Really?

Yu puts the sword back in the case.

JEN:

(longingly)

It must be exciting to be a fighter,

to be totally free!

YU:

Fighters have rules too: friendship,

trust, integrity... Without rules,

we wouldn't survive for long.

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Hui-Ling Wang

Hui-Ling Wang is a writer and actress, known for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Lust, Caution (2007) and Eat Drink Man Woman (1994). more…

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