Chinese Odyssey 2002
DVD cover of Chinese Odyssey 2002
|Directed by||Jeffrey Lau|
|Produced by||Wong Kar-wai
|Written by||Jeffrey Lau|
|Starring||Tony Leung Chiu-Wai
|Music by||Frankie Chan|
|Editing by||Wong Wing-Ming|
|Distributed by||Shanghai Film Group Corporation|
Chinese Odyssey (simplified Chinese: 天下无双; traditional Chinese: 天下無雙; pinyin: Tianxia Wushuang) is a 2002 Hong Kong mo lei tau film written and directed by Jeffrey Lau and produced by Wong Kar-wai. It stars Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Faye Wong, Zhao Wei and Chang Chen.
The Chinese Odyssey 2002 is a prime example of the persistence of Huangmei opera in mainstream Chinese cinema, in which the movie itself is a comedic parody of huangmei films like The Three Smiles (三笑), The Kingdom and the Beauty (江山美人), and The Love Eterne (梁山伯與祝英台). It is a Lunar New Year film, a practice of the Hong Kong movie industry to release a movie (usually a comedy) so as to boost movie ticket sales during the holiday season.
The film is set in Ming Dynasty, China. Ah Long (Tony Leung Chiu Wai) is the town bully, known for his boorish manners and reckless attitude which have endeared him to no one, save his sister Feng (Vicki Zhao) who has a curious penchant for cross-dressing. It is apparent early on that both these siblings are such misfits they have virtually no prospect of marriage.
Faye Wong is cast as a runaway princess who is dressed as a man, a disguise which fools both Long and Feng. Long immediately decides that he likes his new-found friend so much that he will entrust his sister's hand in marriage to "him". The princess, of course, cannot marry another woman and tried to fend off Long's suggestions of a match; but also, she is attracted to Long.
Emperor Zheng De (Chang Chen) also leaves his palace temporarily in order to search for his missing sister. He dresses like a commoner and by a twist of fate meets Feng. He is smitten with Feng, and begins to court her, while keeping his imperial identity secret from her. His motives for leaving the palace also included the fact that he is unhappy and lonely at court and wants to escape the smothering influence of the Empress Dowager (Rebecca Pan), his mother, who plays a dictatorial role in the actions of her son. A convoy of imperial guards try to protect him while he is out in town and bring the Emperor back to the palace, but unsuccessfully.
The Princess is also assisted by her "fairy godmother" (Athena Chu) in marrying her match. The Empress Dowager hears of her wayward children and storms Long's house, where her children are holed up, only to hear that they wish to marry two commoners with unwholesome and eccentric tendencies. The Emperor is adamant about marrying Feng and the Empress Dowager relents, but Long is unable to pass a "ring test" to prove he is the destined one and the Empress Dowager forbids his marriage to her daughter.
All ends well, however. After a separation, Long is enlightened by the "fairy godmother" and passes the "ring test". He is reunited with the Princess, the Empress Dowager accepts him, and happiness reigns.
- Tony Leung Chiu-Wai - Li Yilong, a ne'er-do-well
- Faye Wong - Princess Wushuang, the emperor's sister
- Zhao Wei - Phoenix, Li Yilong's sister
- Chang Chen - Zhengde Emperor
- Athena Chu - Amour Amour
- Rebecca Pan - the emperor's mother
- Eric Kot - the governor / bully
- Roy Cheung - Zuo Lengshan
- Jeffrey Lau - Principal Chen, Li Yilong's former teacher
- Ning Jing - Purple Afterglow, Li Yilong's ex-girlfriend
- Jan Lamb - commentary (voice)
The soundtrack was a success for Faye Wong.
|Chinese Odyssey 2002 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Frankie Chan & Roel A. Garcia (composers)|
|Released||February 1, 2002|
|Genre||Huangmei opera, comedy music|
- Intro (序曲) [1:04]
- Out of the palace (出宮) [2:30]
- Down to Jiangnan (下江南) [1:59] (vocals by Zhao Wei and Chang Chen)
- Vicious mood (殺氣) [1:09]
- The Large World is Smaller than Dust (天地之大小於塵埃) [1:31]
- Xǐxīangféng (喜相逢; "Happy Gathering") [3:18] by Faye Wong and Tony Leung
- Morning Dew (朝露) [2:35]
- Cherishing the Body (善其身) [3:10]
- Zuìyīchǎng (醉一場; "A Drunk Song") [2:24] by Faye Wong and Tony Leung
- Happy Gathering Lalalalala (喜相逢啦啦啦啦啦) [3:16] (vocals by Zhao Wei and Chang Chen, "lalala" version of track #6)
- Passing Glances (眼波流) [1:54]
- Emotional Departure (離恨) [2:34]
- The Peach Flower Oath (桃花為盟) [0:36]
- Wind and Thunder on the Plains (平地有風雷) [0:31]
- Magical Power of Love (愛有神奇力量) [1:23]
- Fate Decided this Life (緣定今生) [3:20]
- Drinking Alone (獨飲) [3:11]
- Longing before the Shadows (觸影生情) [4:31]
- Tiānxià Wúshuāng Tiānla Dìla (天下無雙天啦地啦) [2:14] by Faye Wong and Tony Leung
- Tiānxià Wúshuāng Nàgèla Xiǎngshuō Lalala (天下無雙那個啦想說啦啦啦) [2:20] by Zhao Wei and Chang Chen (spoof of track #19)
- Here's You; Here's Me (有你有我) [1:35]
- The World is Great (人間天地好) [3:10]
- Love will not Die (愛火不熄) [3:31]
- Like the Previous Dust (如許前塵) [3:27]
- No Turning Back (不回首) [2:54]
- Happy Reunion under the Spring Flowers (春暖花開大團圓) [1:59] (vocals by Zhao Wei and Chang Chen)
- Tinha Mouseung Tinla Deila (天下無雙天啦地啦) [2:15] by Faye Wong and Tony Leung (Cantonese version of track #19)
- 39th Annual Golden Horse Awards
- Nomination - Best Supporting Actress (Zhao Wei)
- Nomination - Best Art Direction
- Nomination - Best Costum Design
- 22nd Annual Hong Kong Film Awards:
- 9th Annual Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards:
- Winner, Best Picture
- Winner, Best Actress (Faye Wong)
- Brian Hu (4 August 2005). "The Butterflies Return". Asia Pacific Arts. UCLA Asia Institute. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- Stan Jeffries Encyclopedia of world pop music, 1980-2001 2003 p225 "In May 2002 Wong won a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the best-selling woman singer of Cantonese music, ... Shortly after a new album of orchestrated ballads, Chinese Odyssey, was released and kept Wong at the top of the Asian pop charts. Her career has encompassed more than 20 albums as she continues to record material for future release."
- Chinese Odyssey 2002 at the Internet Movie Database
- Chinese Odyssey 2002 at AllMovie
- Entry at lovehkfilm.com
- Movie website (Taiwan, in Chinese)