Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a beautifully written film based on the concept of two star crossed lover’s. It is a beautifully written film. The section that we are analyzing is a pivotal point in the movie because it is where one begins to see the main character’s more in depth and understand the true motivation of Lo and Jen. The scene begins with the introduction of Jen and Lo; we are initially oblivious to the relationship between the two characters. They have a brief exchange which alludes to a more familiar relationship. At this point the writer uses a flash back sequences that provides the back story on both character’s. The flashback begins with Jen admiring a jade comb, which by the description we see that the comb has a significant sentimental value to Jen it was her grand-mother’s and has been passed down from prior generations. After we get a feel for the value of the comb we also get a brief idea of Jen’s character and the significance her family pedigree.
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Quickly after this exposition the writer quickly transitions into the initial fight scene and a seemingly intimate moment is abruptly cut short by a group of outlaws. This is the first point of attack and also where Lo (Dark cloud) is first introduced, this is also a brief reprieve before the inciting incident when the comb is stolen by Lo. When the comb is stolen this almost intentionally provokes Jen into rising the action and moving the plot forward. Jen without a thought responds quickly to the inciting incident and immediately responds with a reversal in character, we assume that because of Jen’s aristocratic lineage that she would not be able to respond so instinctually to the provocation. However, without a second thought when her cherished comb is stolen, she automatically grabs a lance from a dead guard and begins to chase the caravan on horse. This chase continues to depict the change in Jens character and the closer she gets to the rogues the further she is getting from her royal disposition and she becomes more like a rogue. We also find out that Lo is the true leader of the gang. When Jen finally meet up with the gang and she begins to fight and the story begins to climax and at this point is where we see the greatest dramatic intensity.
At the end of the fight scene Lo screams out she is mine and this marks a reversal of character for Lo, he starts to give a glimpse of a possible romantic interest in Jen. After this major fight scene both Jen and Lo are noticeably tired and it starts to feel as if there is some sort of vulerbility on the part of both character’s, they ride through the desert on their horses parallel to each other to as a symbolic gesture of now being on equal ground. Once the character’s arrive at the cave they have yet another battle that ultimately marks the resolution to the rise in action. After this fight Jen passes out from fatigue, when she wakes up. Her priority is no longer her comb but instead it is her survival. When she wakes up Lo offers to make her a bow and arrow which offers insight into his intent and character. He understands that in his world which is drastically different from hers, in order to survive she must hunt in order to eat. This means that he wants her to live and therefore is no longer a threat to her. When the two characters are going back and forth creating tension between the two it also becomes somewhat of a reversal of assumptions about civility and barbarity.
It is interesting that when Lo asks what is Jen’s name is she chooses to spit in face, clearly not the behavior you would assume from this character. However, when referring back to the comb, she reverses back again to her royal roots. Then there is a final reversal and that is when the two have their final conflict and the violence turns into passion. Once they have sex it changes Jen’s and Lo objective and they are less attached to their backgrounds and become more individualistic and rebels against society. They began to look at each other as their main objective and during these intimate beats in the scene is where we get the background story of Lo and understand that he is not just a rogue but someone who she can love in spite of their differences. However, this also proves to be a false resolution because despite their blind love for each other the fact remains they come from two different worlds and Jen being of Manchurian lineage couldn’t realistically leave this world to join that of Lo and his nomadic plight.
Finally when Jen and Lo see her father’s soldier’s coming to rescue her. They realize this is too much to try to defend and at this time they opt for the final resolution, by saying that through faith they will end up together and Lo can come to Jen’s father as an honorable person. She then offer’s him the comb which was initially the source of conflict and now it has become the object of affection. They promise that this is not the end. Fast forward back to the present and we learn that Jen is getting married and Lo is trying to convince her that he is now by her side and they can finally be together. However, it is unclear if he has made to necessary step that is need in order to marry Jen. This return is ultimately an extension of the final resolution. They still are not able to be together, because Jen is in an arranged marriage. So essentially they are in the same space they were when they left each other 4 years earlier. He still at this time is not able to come to her father in an honorable manner. She still clearly love him and but there cannot be a reversal at this time. The final resolution is still consistent with what happened 4 years ago.
They are still star crossed lover’s waiting for faith and destiny to meet in their favor. The love scene is a major reversal of events, this where the conflict somewhat climaxes and turns into passion. This is a major reversal in Jen’s character, she is no longer concerned by her need for the comb and her object of desire become Lo. She also immediately takes a more submissive role to Lo, Whereas after the initial fight they were riding horses parallel to each other seemingly on equal ground, but after the love scene they are riding on the same horse and she is holding on to Lo tightly. They are no longer defined by who they were but instead by the love that exists between the two of them. The tension from this point forward is gone between both character’s and there immediately is a strong bond as if the difference never existed between the both of them.
However, there is a major change when Jen’s dad’s soldier’s come searching for Jen, the scene abruptly changes, creating a false resolution. Realty is ever looming as the soldier’s draw nearer. Lo realizes that he can’t compete with such an army and that they cannot at time be together until he is able to be respected by her family. This declaration takes Lo’s character to a deeper more complex level, because initially he is perceived as a nomadic brute. When he has his reveal at this moment he is an honorable and cares more about Lo then his own selfish needs. He wants to make their love legendary. There is also again the comb and the symbolic meaning that it provides. It was initially the reason for their conflict but now it is the representation of their love.