Friday Night Date Night is a feature on my blog that showcases movie review (mostly movies that were adapted from books). Hopefully some of these reviews will help you decide what to watch on your date night or a night of chillin with the girls.
I read the novel Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See a long time ago. I completely and utterly fell in love with it. The writing was beautiful and the story touching. While others describe the amazing bond two girls/women can share, now one does it quite like Lisa See and her novel.
I held off seeing this movie for a while because I was scared that the movie wouldn't do the story justice. And while I did enjoy the movie, you know how the saying goes...the book is always better than the movie. The screenwriters took some major liberties with the book, like creating a parallel story line that is set in current times. It is the story of Nina and Sophia who are laotung (“old sames”) just as Snow Flower and Lily are in the book. A laotung is a special relationship between girls who are essentially soul mates and are sworn to love (friendship type love) each other and always be there for one another.
In both the book and the movie, I loved the aspect of a loatung. It shows the female relationship as a thing of beauty and strength. Often times books and movies will pit female characters against one another, but this book/movie instead celebrates that relationship.
At the start of the movie Sophia gets into an accident and upon arriving at the hospital Nina finds a manuscript about Sophia's ancestor, Snowflower and her laotung, Lily. The movie goes through Nina reading this story as it comes to life. This manuscript is essentially the story written by Lisa See so the movie connects back to the book in that way.
I must say that the movie itself was gorgeous and lyrical. I almost felt as if I was watching an opera. I was moved by the beauty of the film and while I still suggest you read this book, the movie was visually stunning.
One of the harder things about watching this movie was the foot binding scenes. I had an extremely hard time reading this section in the book and it was even harder watching it come to life. I actually almost turned off the movie because I couldn't stomach that part at all. I had tears streaming down my face throughout the entire scene and would cringe every time Snowflower or Lily would walk on their "Golden Lily" feet. Does this practice still go on today?
One of the nice surprises in this movie was Hugh Jackman...need I say more!