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Film / The Sorcerer and the White Snake

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The Sorcerer and the White Snake is a 2011 Chinese film directed by Ching Siu-tung. It stars Jet Li, Eva Huang and Raymond Lam. It tells the story of demon-hunting monk Fahai (Jet Li) as well as the demon White Snake's (Eva Huang) forbidden love affair with a human (Raymond Lam) based on the chinese Legend of the White Snake (among other names).

This film contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: In most versions of the White Snake story, Fahai is an out-an-out villain, a turtle who pretended to be a Buddhist monk so he could ruin Susu and Xu Xian's relationship, and steal her power for himself. Here, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist Hunter of Monsters.
  • Arc Words: "Amitabha"
  • Amnesiac Lover: Xu Xian, after the ritual being performed on him was interrupted.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The film's ending. Susu the white snake and her lover are presumably separated for a very long time. Even Green Snake leaves Neng Ren because she didn't want to suffer with love like her sister did. On the other hand, Fahai gets over his hatred of all demons and welcomes back Neng Ren.
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  • Demon Slaying: Fahai's and Neng Ren's job although usually they just capture them. The former wouldn't care whether it's a good or bad demon while the latter was turned into a demon against his will.
  • Deus ex Machina: After Fahai was beaten up by Susu during the climax, a light from heaven granted him new powers represented by several luminescent hands. Also happened to Susu after saying the arc word. She was allowed to say her last goodbye to Xu Xian before being finally sealed in the Pagoda.
  • Dark Action Girl: The female Bat Demons, the Fox Demons and the Ice Harpy.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Neng Ren after becoming a bat demon. He uses his newfound ability to fly to save his fellow monks after the pagoda is flood. This is when Fahai starts to turn around.
  • Elemental Powers: The two snake sisters demonstrated instances of Making a Splash (including whole tsumamis) and Dishing Out Dirt as part of their Ki Manipulation.
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  • Femme Fatale: The Ice Harpy enchants men and if they ever try to leave her she kills them.
  • Horny Devils: The Fox Demons try to seduce Fahai.
  • Interspecies Romance: Susu the White Snake fell in love with Xu Xian, a human.
  • Ki Manipulation: The monks and the demons fight with these.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Green Snake, the 1993 film based on the same legend starring Maggie Cheung. It had explicit sex scenes, darker themes and characters, and everyone (white snake, the scholar, Fahai's disciples, and many more people) but Fahai and the green snake dies in the end, with the former burdened with the guilt of all those deaths.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Very, very much.
  • Metamorphosis: Neng Ren slowly changed into a bat demon after he was bitten by one.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By all parties! Fahai thinks all demons are no good for humans so he tries to get rid of Susu. This causes Xu Xian to steal a herb to save her freeing demons who possess him. Fahai tries exorcising the demons from him, but is interrupted by Susu who thinks he is trying to keep them apart.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The bat demons that Fahai and Neng Ren fought.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The demons sealed in the Lei Feng Pagoda.
  • Snake People: How Susu and Qingqing appear throughout most of the film when they are not humans, gaint snakes, or even bigger snakes.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes
  • Warrior Monk: Fahai.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Fahai assumes all demons are either evil or dangerous for humans. They must either be imprisoned or destroyed. He acknowledges Susu is benevolent, yet still demands she either leave or be imprisoned. It is only after his monastery is flooded he considers he might have been too stubborn and by the end seems to accept demons can live alongside humans. To be fair to him though he does vanquish many demons who are causing harm to humans, and he did give some of them a chance to leave before they're sealed away.
  • Wire Fu
  • Womb Level: Qingqing will not stop attacking even after one's been Swallowed Whole, so esophagus level would probably be more polite.
  • Wuxia


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