Monday, August 15, 2005

Kung Fu Hustle

I recently watched, for the first time, the brilliant kung-fu comedy flick Kung Fu Hustle. When you're as big a fan of wuxia and martial arts as I, the movie is a lot less surreal. I was very impressed by it: It was very funny, very fun to watch, and the special effects were unique. But my friends' response surprised me. They didn't like the ending shot, where the peddler who gave the main character the Buddhist Palm manual gives a little girl multiple manuals. They thought it made no sense. But in fact, the scene ties together the whole movie.

You see, it begins with the two main characters attempting to be thugs. The people of the town are revealed to be unbelievably tough, especially the older individuals. But this old generation has weakened over time and cannot defeat the assassins sent after them. The hope lies in the young, who are bamboozled by unethical salesmen, beaten up, humiliated, and finally find their power and path, unleashing a new power never before seen. The old generation begs to learn from the new (the Beast begging at the hero's feet after feeling the ultimate attack of the Buddhist Palm). Romance is consummated at new maturity is found, and the next generation begins to learn in the same way as the old.

I think this is a remarkably optimistic outlook about human nature. Yes, one can find a message from a comedy kung fu movie. It says that the young will of course make their share of mistakes, but in the end they will surpass their elders, and the cycle will begin again.

Let's hope it's true.


Post a Comment

<< Home