White Snake (Báishé: Yuánqǐ) 2019
As I’ve said before, my knowledge of animation from China is pretty limited but that didn’t stop me enjoying White Snake.
I do imagine that if I was familiar with the folktale the film draws from (Legend of the White Snake) I’d pick up a lot more subtext but I was never lost or confused because characters and motivations were clear and the same goes for the story.
Visually it’s beautiful I reckon; plenty of detail and space – and the vibrant colours that modern CGI is known for. I probably liked the settings and costuming as much as anything else, but there’s action and romance with a few surprises and some good villains too, and so White Snake is not just wonderful imagery.
Maybe for some folks the story might not be as complex as the animation with its ace action-sequences, some that are almost dizzying, but the romantic plot seemed to work really hard for the screentime.
Actually, let me phrase that better – I thought I’d finish the film thinking our two leads didn’t share enough scenes together but a feature film only has so much time to show us what’s important. And for me Blanca and Xuan probably did get enough time for the ending to work, if I think back.
So, maybe if you like costume dramas – but ones with perhaps more action than romance, and ones built around the mythical and supernatural – then White Snake should definitely satisfy.