Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Pursuit (1972)

Yueh Hua played the central character here as Lin Chung, an instructor who was wronged by corrupted officials around him.

Lin Chung's superior, Commander Gao, had a son who wanted Lin Chung's beautiful wife. Lin Chung's sworn brother, a monk, had warned him to leave his position and move somewhere else; but Lin Chung refused for he didn't want to leave his friends and he respected the Commander very much. "The Commander is very good to me," said Lin Chung. In traditional Chinese world, it meant Lin Chung had to pay back the Commander's kindness by being loyal to him forever.

Lin Chung's wife begs his husband not to hurt the Commander's son
Lin Chung of course couldn't have guessed that the Commander put his son above everything. With the help of Lin Chung's martial brother, the Commander falsely accused Lin Chung of breaking a military rule and sent him to jail.

The two officials who escorted Lin Chung when he was banished to Cang Zhou had been bribed to kill him. Luckily the monk came to save him. However the Commander's son wouldn't stop until he got Lin Chung's wife.

Yueh Hua (Lin Chung) and Fan Mei-sheng (the monk)
Lin Chung : I live and die a citizen of Song and will abide by its law.
The monk : What law are you talking of? Would people like Gao Qiu abide by the law?

Lin Chung began to question himself. He wanted to be a good citizen, but the people around him kept pushing him until he had no where else to go. In the end ke killed his enemies and took refuge to Liang Shan. He would became one of the 108 Heroes (outlaws) of the Marsh.

The drama here has more portion than the action. I felt like watching an episode of Judge Bao, but Pursuit was a much better production and better made. In the end, instead of a trial which ends with death punishment, we get duels to the death.

Comparing this to The Water Margin, which has similar plots [In The Water Margin, the central character was Lu Jun-yi, who had also been wronged and became one of the 108 Liang Shan heroes.], I like Pursuit better. This one focuses on the drama more, made me sympathize with Lin Chung's sufferings.

An incredible stunt by a little boy (Meng Hai?).
He jumps from top of the wall in one single shot, and no matress.

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