'It's Love' premieres in Beijing

Updated: 2011-09-26 16:42

By Cindy Gu (chinadaily.com.cn)

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'It's Love' premieres in Beijing

(L-R) Cast members Raymond Lam, Huang Shengyi, Jet Li, Vivian Hsu and Wen Zhang pose for photographs at the premiere of the film "It's Love", also known as "The Sorcerer and the White Snake" in Beijing on Sept 22, 2011. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Premiere for the film "It's Love", also known as "The Sorcerer and the White Snake", was held in Beijing on Sept 22, 2011. CEO of China JULI Group Yang Zi, executive producer Chui Po Chu, director Tony Ching, kungfu star Jet Li, Chinese actress Huang Shengyi, Hong Kong-based actor Raymond Lam, Chinese actor Wen Zhang and Taiwan-based actress Vivian Hsu attended the event.

"The Sorcerer and the White Snake," a well-known tale in China, tells a love story between the white snake and the herbalist Xu Xian. Xu Xian helped cure the white snake's wounds once, and the white snake wanted to repay him for his kindness. As a demon who has gone through 1,000 years of spiritual and martial arts training, the white snake appeared before the herbalist in human form, and a melodious love story unfolded before them.

Their affection for each other, though deep and strong, was forbidden. The sorcerer, acting as the "police" of the past, had his eyes on the white snake and was determined to put her where she truly belongs. The consequence for that was a life-and-death battle between humans and demons and between love and hatred.

'It's Love' premieres in Beijing

Jet Li chats with executive producer Choi Po Chu at the press conference for the upcoming film "It's Love", also known as "The Sorcerer and the White Snake", in Beijing on Sept 22, 2011. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Kungfu superstar Jet Li, who plays the sorcerer that engages in a grand battle with the white snake (played by Huang Shengyi), was portrayed in a different fashion. The sorcerer, who goes by the name Fa Hai, was played as a bloodless yet just peacekeeper of the ancient world by previous renditions of the story. Jet Li, however, gave the part more "heart" and made the ever-so-rigid Fa Hai seem more like a human being with emotions.

When asked about his understanding on this new side of Fa Hai, Li explained with a scene from the movie, in which he said to the white snake: "If you really love him, weep yourself and keep tears away from him."

Li's version of the sorcerer was closer to life and understood the essence of love, perhaps even more than the lovebirds themselves.

'It's Love' premieres in Beijing

Chinese actress Huang Shengyi reacts at the press conference for the premiere of the film "It's Love", also known as "The Sorcerer and the White Snake" in Beijing on Sept 22, 2011. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

The relationship between the white snake and Xu Xian, played by Raymond Lam, was also shown differently. Unlike their previous extravagant relationships on screen, the marriage between the two was less grand and simpler in nature, much like many young couples in China.

"Xu Xian was just a normal herbalist," said Huang. "He lived in a remote place and worked very hard to make ends meet. They weren't rich and they didn't have a big house to live in. I think many post-'80s generation can relate to their simple yet sweet lifestyle."

Whether you are nostalgic about the classic Chinese fairy tale and want to relive the legend again, curious about the new edge this version may bring, or have never even heard of the story, the 2011 version of "The Sorcerer and the White Snake" will not fail to strike the soft spots in your heart that long for love and happiness.

"The Sorcerer and the White Snake" will be playing in theaters starting Sept 29, 2011.

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