Friday, June 12, 2009
Painted Skin - 畫皮
Painted Skin (畫皮) is a 2008 film out of Hong Kong. The film stars Donnie Yen, Zhou Xun, Aloys Chen, and Zhao Wei. The story is based on a ghost story from Strange Tales of Liaozhai.
The story is based on a several love triangles. With the center wrapped around Wang and Pei, a married couple. Wei, a fox demon spirit, needs human hearts to stay in her painted skin. Without the painted skin, humans will see her true form.
Wei is rescued by Wang one day and brought back to his house to be a servant. Pei immediately feels something is strange about Wei. Pei tells Wang, but without proof, Pei feels unheard. Pei seeks out Pang, a friend and former suitor for help.
The fun begins when Pang starts investigating Wei.
There is a certain level of Chinese mythos that need to be understood for the movie to be fully realized. If you're not familiar with Chinese mythos, some things are not spelled out for you.
I was rather impressed with this film and thought it to be a drastic departure from recent Donnie Yen films. However, this was a Donnie Yen film per se. Donnie just isn't the almighty fighter in this film that you would expect.